Chris Janson says that there’s one important Christmas tradition he grew up with that he’s hoping to pass on to his kids.
“I have to attribute a lot to my dad for always making Christmas about someone else,” the singer explained backstage at CMA Country Christmas in 2019, before hitting the stage for his performance. ”He would always pick a family who needed something, or families who needed something, and he always kinda prodded me that way.”
As an adult — and especially as a parent himself — Janson knows that getting gifts is far from the most important part of the holiday season.
“Presents don’t mean a whole lot. It’s really about the gift of giving, and really the blessing of someone receiving it who needs it,” he reflects. “So that was really the biggest thing I ever took away from it. I just remember that was a cool thing my dad would do.”
As parents of four, Janson and his wife Kelly try to balance giving their children gifts with teaching them the importance of giving to others. “We try to impress that upon our kids. Because, man, our kids grew up in a different generation. They already have everything they could ever want … there are so many people who need so much more,” the singer goes on to say.
“We try to do the giving trees in the malls and restaurants. It’s fun, man. Giving is so fun. It’s really rewarding,” Janson adds, “and so we try to do what we feel is right on our hearts as far as gifts are concerned. We try to do what matters most.
“Would you agree with that?” Janson asks, calling over his wife.
“Yeah. [One time] we did that thing, like with the books, but they put food in,” Kelly points out.
“They’re called Blessing Boxes, I forgot … I’m glad she brought it up,” Janson says, nodding in agreement. “The Blessing Boxes are something that people just randomly do across the United States, or around the world. We didn’t even notice until we started hearing about it.”
Once he started noticing Blessing Boxes, though, Janson says he saw them everywhere: in church parking lots, outside businesses and on lawns. “It looks like a mailbox on a pole with a Plexiglas door, and you fill it with stuff. You just fill it with food, non-perishables and stuff like that, and people in the community who need it can come by and get it at will. Then, every time somebody takes something, somebody will try to fill it back up with something. It’s really amazing.”
To learn more about Blessing Boxes in Middle Tennessee, or how to get involved, visit the organization’s Facebook page.
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