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Kellie Pickler, Keith Urban, Faith Hill & More Reveal Favorite Holiday Memories

Kellie Pickler performs on ABC's CMA Country Christmas, the concert special airing Thursday, December 1 at 9/8 CT.

The CMA Country Christmas concert special, hosted by Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles, airs tonight, December, 1 at 9/8 CT on ABC. The holiday special includes performances from some of country’s biggest stars as well as intimate fireside chats with artists sharing their favorite holiday memories.

For Kellie Pickler who was joined by husband Kyle Jacobs, one of her treasured  memories is from when she visited with troops in Iraq who couldn’t be home with their families for the holidays. “There are so many things we take for granted,” she said. “We don’t realize it until it’s not there anymore – until that luxury, that freedom, is not there.”

One of Faith Hill‘s favorite memories is of the Christmas she and her two older brothers were given a big box of peanuts by their parents. The siblings had to dig through the peanuts to find money. “I got so upset because she didn’t put any money in my box,” Faith said. “I thought, ‘She gypped me!’” Faith also revealed that she, husband Tim McGraw and their three daughters read The Night Before Christmas, bake and make reindeer food every Christmas.

See photos from this year’s CMA Country Christmas! >>

Vince Gill and wife Amy Grant shared some of their favorite Christmas memories from their childhoods. Vince revealed that his sister is a master at opening Christmas gifts before Christmas Day – and re-sealing them. “She was good at acting surprised at what she got,” Vince said.

For Amy, one of her favorite Christmas memories was of the gerbils her mother bought her one Christmas. The family cat found them before Amy received them, however. “We’re sitting around, all fuzzy feeling, then all of a sudden, I’m going, ‘What is that crunching sound under the tree?’ It was my big present – the gerbils.”

Growing up in Australia, Keith Urban had a warm Christmas instead of a white one. “My memories of Christmas growing up in the Southern hemisphere – it’s the middle of summer down there,” he said. “Christmas was always about going to the beach. And my fondest Christmas memory is about getting in the station wagon with my mom, dad, my brother, and me, and going to the beach for the day.”

CMA Country Concert will feature performances from Sugarland, Vince (with special guest Miss Piggy!), Amy, Faith, Lauren Alaina,  Martina McBride, Darius Rucker, Little Big Town, Scotty McCreeryRascal Flatts, and Brian Setzer with special guest Brad Paisley.

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