OFFSTAGE: Carrie Underwood, Lee Brice Share Holiday Memories

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Remember that really expensive storytelling teddy bear from the ’80s? Me neither. But that little bear was one of Carrie Underwood’s favorite Christmas gifts. “I remember getting a Teddy Ruxpin when I was little, and I just thought that that was the coolest thing ever,” she said. And Lee Brice’s best holiday memory is from just a few years ago, when he brought his guitar to Christmas dinner with his family for the first time ever. “I had been writing and singing since I was 10. I ended up sitting the family down and playing a few songs for everyone. I watched my grandpa tear up the whole time I was singing. And it had been along long time since I had seen a smile so genuine,” Brice said. “Granddaddy died a couple months later. So instead of me regretting that I never shared my heart and songs with him, I was relieved and overjoyed that I had.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.