Amy Grant Reveals Favorite Christmas Traditions With Vince Gill

Amy Grant has been married to Vince Gill for 18 years, creating plenty of years of sweet memories with their families together. The Christian music singer admits that sharing a holiday as a blended family, with her three children (from her first marriage to Gary Chapman), and Gill's daughter (from his first marriage to singer Janis Oliver), along with their daughter, Corrina, hasn't always been easy, but now their time all together, especially at the holidays, is her favorite time of the year.

"Five kids. Now two grandkids," Grant shared with at a recent media event. "And the one photograph we take every morning, and we've taken it since our youngest was still on a bottle, and she's a senior in high school now, it's when everybody first rolls out of bed. I've got my camera. I said, 'I don't care if you're going to smile or not. One, two, three, click, click, click.' It's crazy – that's the one thing we've done every year, is taken that picture."

Grant is amazed at how far their joint family has come since their first Christmas together.

"Over the last 18 years of Christmas, to go from everybody being on their polite best behavior and so many gifts in a new circle, that's family, but still, you feel like a stranger in your own life. Somebody opening a gift and you just feel like, 'Oh, a swing and a miss. Okay,' to now having so much history together. We're all grown. I mean, but gifts [are] carefully chosen. Really, the gift, it is being together," she said.

Grant sang a song called "To Be Together," in the annual CMA Country Christmas show, which she chose in part because of the message in the lyric.

"I wanted to sing this original song because it just says, sometimes the bravest thing you can do at the holidays is go home," explained Grant. "But everyone should be able to walk in their door and be who they are. That should be the welcome. That's the gift, is we show up as we are and I really wanted that to be the message that I brought."

With so many people under one roof, there is plenty of food to make at the holidays. Although the menu might change from year to year, there's one holiday staple Grant insists on having at Christmas.

"Cheese grits are a big deal," Grant revealed. "They were my grandmother's. Even while I'm making them now, I'll look around at my husband of 18 years, my children, and I want to shout, 'None of you even knew my grandmother.' But I keep her alive through her recipes. It's weird, that kind of handing down of traditions through generations. I guess someday my kids will go, or their kids will go, 'Now, why do we do this? What was her name?' But for me, I still remember her. And we're going to cook her recipes."


CMA Country Christmas will re-air on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.

Photo Credit: Getty images/Rick Diamond