Best Christmas Memory: Cole Swindell

The Last Prank His Dad Pulled

“The older I get, the more special time with family gets.”

That’s what Cole Swindell told me when we talked about our favorite Christmas memories.

For him, though, his wasn’t about a new bike, a cool toy or some kind of trip down Santa Claus Lane. It was about his dad, Keith, who died in an accident in September 2013.

“My dad lived outside of Savannah, Georgia, where there’s a bunch of oak trees and that Spanish moss hanging all over the place,” Swindell explained of the plant that is neither Spanish or moss, but it drapes the live oak trees that have given Savannah its Forest City nickname.

“I remember one Christmas in particular,” he said. “It was the last Christmas I was at his house. I left in my truck, and I said goodbye. It was the first time I ever saw him get choked up. It was weird. It was almost like he knew.”

“When I got home, and went to get gas two days later,” he said, “I realized my dad he had stuffed my gas tank full of that Spanish moss. I called him and I was like, ‘Did you do that?’ And he said, ‘I just wanted you to have a little piece of home with you.’ That’s the kind of guy he was. That right there sums him up.”

Swindell said that that was the last Christmas he spent with his dad.

“I will never forget that ever,” he said.

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