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OFFSTAGE: Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley on Mariah Carey, Beach Boys
(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Thanksgiving is so four days ago. Time to move on, start shopping and planning and wrapping and trimming and baking. And most importantly, listening to the holiday music that brings you back. When the CMA asked Miranda Lambert to name her favorite Christmas album, she was ready with the answer. "I listen to the Mariah Carey Christmas from like 12 years ago every Christmas," she said. Dierks Bentley knew his, too. Or at least the one that always reminds him of Christmas. "When I think of Christmas, I think of music. It's just always the Beach Boys. My parents had the Beach Boys' Christmas album. And that's what we listened to every single year for Christmas," he says. The questions about favorite Christmas gifts so far have gone to Darius Rucker and Blake Shelton. Rucker's was an acoustic guitar from Kmart when he was 10. And Shelton's was and still is cash. "Guys don't want to get crap," he says, advising buyers, "If socks cost $1.50, give us $1.50. If cologne costs 60 bucks, give me the 60 bucks." That oughta make shopping easier for Lambert this year.
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