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Amy & Vince invite “exhausted people to take a deep breath” at their “Tennessee Christmas” at the Ryman

Robby KleinThis week, Vince Gill and Amy Grant set in motion a much-treasured Music City tradition — their series of Christmas shows together at the historic Ryman Auditorium.

For Amy, it’s a labor of love — especially considering she’s just wrapped her earlier yuletide tour with pal Michael W. Smith.

“Christmas is for me, the best kind of nostalgia,” she tells ABC Audio. “It just brings into sharp focus some of my favorite images of my family.”

“I feel like the best gift we can give each other is time,” she adds.

In fact, that’s what the star of Christian, pop, and Christmas music tries to do with her holiday shows — carve out a peaceful space for her audience in the season of hustle and bustle.

“The work that happens for me at Christmas time is a great combination of working on music that I love,” Amy explains, “creating environments for exhausted people to step into and take a deep breath. That’s how I feel about doing Christmas shows.”

Even though she made “Tennessee Christmas” a classic and has recorded no less than four complete holiday albums, you get the impression Amy still considers doing her advent season shows a privilege.

“I can clear the calendar because this is my work…” she points out. “I’m not going to a bunch of Christmas parties, I’m not hosting Christmas dinners. We put on Christmas concerts and it’s just like, ‘What do we get to serve up this year?’”

“It needs to be faith and hope and family and disappointment, laughter, fun. And it’s just like serving up a great meal.”  

Nine more shows remain during Amy and Vince’s run at the Ryman.

For the first time ever this season, Amy’s first three holiday albums are available on vinyl in her new Christmas box set.

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