Tim McGraw was one of the featured performers on the CMA Country Christmas special this year, visiting the show's living room-inspired set to perform "It Wasn't His Child." McGraw sat on a stool in a maroon suit and his signature black cowboy hat, accompanied by a guitar player as he sang.
"I’m performing ‘It Wasn’t His Child,’ it was written by Skip Ewing, who I’m a big fan of and I’ve known this song, gosh, since the late ’80s I guess," McGraw told the Country Music Association ahead of his performance. "I’ve performed it several times at Christmas because it’s always one of my go to Christmas songs to perform and I always love it. I love the message of what it says and the story behind it. Just so well written, Skip’s a great writer."
"It Wasn't His Child" was first released by Ewing in 1989. The song tells the story of the baby Jesus, explaining that even though Joseph was not the boy's father, he raised him as his own. It has since been covered by many artists, including Trisha Yearwood, who included the song on her 1994 holiday album The Sweetest Gift.
"If you've never heard the original version of this song by Skip Ewing.... go check it out!!" McGraw wrote on Instagram after his performance aired. "One of my favorite songs for the season. Thanx to the @cma for putting together this special night of music."
"Andy Williams, Perry Como, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra all had classic Christmas specials where the viewer was invited into the homes of the host to celebrate the holiday like a best friend coming to visit," Robert Deaton, CMA Country Christmas Executive Producer, said in a statement. "That was what we wanted to create for this year's show. Instead of a big flashy production, we took a page from those iconic specials to say, 'Come relax, and let’s celebrate the holidays together.'"
McGraw is now preparing to celebrate Christmas at home with wife, Faith Hill, and their three daughters, where they'll be sure to take part in an annual Christmas Eve tradition.
"Our family tradition for years has been pasta," McGraw shared. "Spaghetti and meatballs on Christmas Eve. And that's sort of my job as dad to prepare the spaghetti and meatballs. That's a tradition that I've had since I was a child; I hope it carries on with them."