ABC/Mark LevineThomas Rhett is bringing the Christmas cheer with the release of two holiday songs: an original tune and a timeless classic.  

Written by Thomas, Ashley GorleyDavid Garcia and Chris Tomlin, the original song, “Christmas in the Country,” paints a picture of a simple and charming holiday celebration that’s “miles from a city and the crazy crowds/where the pine trees grow and the world slows down.”

He’s also shared his own interpretation of Nat King Cole‘s holiday standard, “The Christmas Song.” An orchestra of strings opens the song before Thomas switches gears and airs an R&B flair to the lyrics. Both tracks mark the first time the ACM Male Vocalist of the Year winner has released Christmas music.

“Christmas is hands-down my favorite time of year. We have so many Christmas traditions in our family that include a lot of festive music, but I’ve never recorded anything myself,” he says.

“[My wife] Lauren has wanted me to make some Christmas music for a long time, so this year felt like the right time to finally take a stab at writing something and to put my own twist on one of the all-time classics.”

Thomas will enter 2020 as a Grammy Award nominee in the category of Best Country Album for Center Point Road. The awards show airs on January 26 at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. 

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