What Christmas Means to Clint Black

Grammy Winner Talks New Christmas Collection and Traditions He’ll Honor This Holiday

Christmas is a special time of reflection and traditions for so many of us, including country star Clint Black.

Back in 1995, Black blessed us with his first collection of Christmas songs, Looking for Christmas. As the years have gone by, Black’s career and life have grown in so many ways that he felt the time was right to once again update that collection and give fans a new gift this season.

The Clint Black Christmas Collection was released on Nov. 6, twenty-three years later, and for the singer-songwriter, revisiting those beloved songs was deeply meaningful and nostalgic.

“I remember, as I didn’t have Google back then, there was a friend of the family I relied on to verify theological facts and traditions for my writing,” Black told CMT.com.

“Those phone conversations were very special to me. I was so fascinated and inspired I realized there was no end to the subject and knew I would continue to add songs to my collection.”

Among the songs on the new collection are old favorites like “Looking for Christmas,” “The Kid” (written with the late Merle Haggard), “The Finest Gift” with his wife Lisa Hartman Black, and brand-new tunes like “Magical Christmas,” which features Black’s daughter, Lily Pearl, in her recording debut.

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“Lily has been bitten by the bug,” Black said. “She has always loved to perform, but recently she made a conscious decision to apply herself to developing her talents. We’re excited to see where it takes her. She loves to dance and act as well, but for me, her musical talents and the qualities of her voice suggest music will be her strength.”

Also new to the collection are songs from Black’s new musical titled Looking for Christmas, which tells the story of a military veteran returning home from Afghanistan who must make peace with his past to rediscover the magic of Christmas.

The new venture has been a tremendous experience for Black, who admitted that putting together a musical is not an easy feat.

“The process for a musical is a much greater challenge,” he revealed. “The story outline, the rewrites, arranging the music to conform to the story and the time constraints, casting…then the real work begins.”

Black said the band and singers rehearsed tirelessly for six weeks to hone in on the style of singing and playing that his fans would find familiar. It was also important that the actors find a way to truly and authentically represent the plight of military families and the stress they endure.

“In most cases, these were seven-day-weeks for our creative side of the team,” he said. “Six days a week for the cast and crew, and those were twelve-hour days. It was so much more challenging –which I enjoyed– than making an album, which seems easy after that!”

Even with so much going on in his career right now, Black says he and his family will take time to honor their traditions this holiday season, which involve giving back.

“Christmas is a time of giving, and we like to include our local charities,” he said.

“Frankincense, gold, and myrrh: the modern version of that for us is food and clothing. You’ll always find those in need through churches or the mission.”

“Along with that, we’re pretty typical. Give some gifts, eat some food, play board games—and we have a new CD to play around the house! Lisa and Lily always insist we play my Christmas collection and having Lisa and Lily appearing on it now will make that more enjoyable for me.”

It sounds like a very Merry Christmas indeed. The Clint Black Christmas collection is now available.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.