Dan + Shay Embrace New Holiday Traditions With Their Growing Families

For Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, who together make up the duo Dan + Shay, Christmas this year will be a lot different than previous years. The men both now have wives, with Smyers marrying Abby Law in May, and Mooney, whose son, Asher, was born in January, marrying Hannah Billingsley in October. The new family additions also mean new traditions for the men.

"My wife is from Kansas City, and I’m from Pittsburgh, Penn., and those are complete opposite directions from Nashville," Smyers shared with PopCulture.com at a recent media event. "We travel all year. We do like 250 shows. And we have three dogs ... It’s a lot of travel. So this year, we planted the seed early, and we are convincing our parents to all come to Nashville this year, because they had a great time at the wedding. Nashville’s a great place to hang. I feel like at Christmas, since there are so many transplants in Nashville, I think it clears out a little bit in Nashville, since everyone goes home to see their families. So it might be a more manageable time to entertain the family down on Broadway and do a Nashville Christmas. So we’re working on that this year."

"It is exciting to think about the new traditions now, having Asher," adds Mooney. "I remember last Christmas, obviously he wasn’t born yet (he was born in January), but I remember Hannah and I kind of talking about different traditions and things that we were going to do. But one thing that Hannah and I have started to do, we’ve been collecting ornaments. So every place that we’ll go, if we’re together, we’ll buy an ornament, and I think we have a lot of ornaments. They have to be really weird ones. So we have a pineapple, one’s a pickle – we have some weird stuff."

As for what gets Dan + Shay in the holiday spirit, not surprisingly, the guys say it's music -- especially "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas."


"That’s always been one of my favorite songs," Mooney says. "And for some reason when I put on that song, it just gets me in the spirit of Christmas. Really, any song, it doesn’t have to be just Christmas, but there are those certain songs that have memories tied to them. I always think about being at my grandparent’s house at Christmas, and my mom would play that song on the piano."

A version of Dan + Shay singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is available for download on iTunes.