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VIews and opinions: Shelton and Stefani debut a new Christmas favorite


BITTERSWEET, Ky. — As much as I love talking about Christmas and the music of the season, I always feel a bit melancholy when time comes for the last of the year’s holiday columns. It seems like there is never enough time to share with you all the great Christmas tunes of the past and today.

But, as we get closer to the big day and the end of this year’s Christmas indulgence, I am perplexed on what musical dish to share before we look toward New Year’s.

There are so many great Christmas tunes to discuss in such a short time, but one of my favorite new songs – and one that will likely become a real favorite for years to come – is a duet by Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani called “You Make it Feel Like Christmas.” This is such a happy song and a vocal blend of two of the hottest stars on the planet.

Now, for an old traditionalist such as myself, it seems a bit odd that I like this song so much. After all, one of my biggest complaints each year is that we hear far more “Jingle Bells” than “O Holy Night.” But that doesn’t mean I don’t like the “Jingle Bells” songs, because I really do.

I never want to lose sight of the reason for the season, but I do acknowledge that there is such a diversity in the Christmas music genre, and it’s good to enjoy that variety.      And this duet is one of those “non-traditional” tunes I like more each time I hear it. It’s country, it’s pop, but most of all, it makes you feel good.

It appears on Stefani’s Christmas release of the same title, and is an obvious love song as much as it is a holiday tune. I think what makes it work so well for me is the fact that these two are not only great together musically but seem to be an ideal couple.

They possess the kind of familiarity that we have seen in other famous “husband-wife” combinations. And while these two have yet to tie the knot, their voices have already walked down the aisle.

I say all that to say this: I think I have a new addition to my long list of favorite Christmas tunes. I will forever hold dear the traditional hymns of the Christmas season, but the fun songs and the love songs and “Jingle Bells” songs help bring out the younger me … and I still like to be the younger me at Christmastime.


Bluegrass Johnson comes from a long line of country music performers and enjoys a passion for the rhythm and melody. From the hills of Kentucky, he will offer his opinions on a variety of new country music each week. Readers with questions or comments may write to Johnson in care of this publication.