Exclusive Interview: Lucas Hoge on Long-Awaited Holiday Album, 'Christmas is Here'

Lucas Hoge is ready for Christmas. The singer released his first-ever holiday album, Christmas is Here earlier this year, in part because of his love of the season. The ten-track record includes both standards, like O Holy Night and The Christmas Song, and a few new tunes as well.

"I've always wanted to do a Christmas album, ever since I started playing guitar," Hoge tells PopCulture.com. "I love Christmas music, I love the Christmas season. And listening to the standards, you just grow fond of all these songs, and you want to kind of put your stamp on the Christmas songs, the Christmas sound. So I wanted to try and do that. I sat down and wrote about five of the new songs that are on there, along with some of the standards that I grew up loving."

For Hoge, his favorite part of Christmas isn't only the music, but the time he gets to spend with the ones he loves the most.

"Honestly, it's just checking out of life, and being with family, and just having fun, drinking wine around the Christmas tree, and just having a good time. I love snow, so hopefully I'll be around snow this year."

Of course, some of Hoge's favorite holiday traditions also center around food, especially ham -- specifically dry ham.

"Ham with a whole pineapple ring sitting on top of it," explains Hoge. "My grandma used to always bake this amazing ham and, this is going to sound weird, but I like my meat just a little dry, because then you can pour just mounds of gravy on it. Her ham was always just the perfect texture of dryness, with the pineapple sweet, and a little bit of beef gravy. Fantastic."

Hoge won't spent too much time relaxing this year. Much like in the past, the Nebraska native prefers to keep the momentum going all year long, even over the holiday season.

"We don't take a break over Christmastime," reveals Hoge. "That's when we ramp it up. We did a real soft release of some Christmas songs last year, did some exclusive videos and stuff, and we released a few of them, teasing for this year. We started kind of the Christmas tour last year, building up to this one, and it's been amazing."

Hoge, who also released Dirty South this year, hopes to continue his hard work into 2018, and beyond.

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"If I had to pick a New Year's resolution, it would be to dig in even deeper, and work even harder, because this industry, it's just going all so many different ways, and there's so many things I want to do before my time is up. I gotta get it all in pretty quick. ... I'm literally just going to dive in and dig harder, and do everything I possibly can to get to do the things I want to do."

Purchase Christmas is Here on Amazon and iTunes.