Carrie Underwood Shares Her Favorite Christmas Memories

Christmas is definitely Carrie Underwood‘s favorite time of year. The Oklahoma native recalls some of her earliest, and sweetest memories of the holiday as a child, which mean even more to her now that she has children of her own.

“Christmas was always just about family,” Carrie shares with her record label. “One thing that we always did growing up that was one of my favorite memories, on Christmas Eve we would go to my grandparents’ house. Us kids were always responsible for putting oranges and apples and bananas in little paper bags and we would go down to the nursing home and sing Christmas carols.”

The mother of two works hard to establish traditions in her own family, ones that her sons Isaiah and Jacob will remember as they get older.

“For me growing up, Christmas was always just comforting,” Carrie states. “We always had the same stockings and the same tree and the same decorations, and we would always decorate the weekend right after Thanksgiving. You know, flip the Christmas switch, put the tree up. Now that we’re adults and have kids, we can go to the Christmas tree farm and we can walk around, and we can pick out which one and ask Isaiah, ‘Which one do you think?’ Just things like that, making those memories. It’s just a joyful time of year.”

Some of her favorite traditions now also involve making food for her family — even if she doesn’t eat all of it.

“My perfect Christmas, generally we do a lot of traveling around Christmas,” Carrie reveals. “We’ll go see either my family or my husband’s family. I’ll spend all day cooking. I’ll make a small turkey, even though I don’t eat turkey. I’ll make myself some tofurkey; cranberry sauce, of course. Of course, sweet potato casserole. You have to have that.

“That’s one of my favorites because it’s a side dish and dessert, but I’ll just make a ridiculous amount of food,” she continues. “Just celebrate, have a fire, we wait for Santa and open our presents, then we’re off to see the next group of family. It’s all about watching it through my sons’ eyes and just getting to spend time with family.”

Carrie’s My Gift album is out now.