TC Christmas Q&A with Brett Kissel

19 Days until Christmas!

We’re counting down the days until Christmas by featuring a special Top Country Christmas Q&A with a different artist each day! Check out today’s Q&A with Brett Kissel!

1. Top way to countdown to Christmas

I honestly have an alarm set on my iPhone that counts down to Christmas every day.  It gets me excited when I wake up, and read, “29 Days Until Christmas!”

2. Favourite Christmas Carol

For a traditional Christmas carol, I love “Angels We Have Heard on High” – it’s the nicest song to sing along to.  If you’re in need of just a good ol’ Christmas classic, then “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee is one of the very best!

3. Top 3 Christmas movies, go!

1. “Home Alone” – MacCaulay Culkin is so good in this one!  It’s not only my favorite Christmas movies, but likely one of my favorite movies of all time.

2. “Elf” – Will Ferrell is one of the very best comedians of our time and this is a Christmas classic in the making!

3.“A Muppet Christmas Carol” – The adaptation of the Charles Dickens treasure is so great, especially with Kermit, Miss. Piggy, and Michael Caine as Scrooge!

4. Top 2 things every Christmas Carol needs

1. An orchestra

2. Jingle Bells

(Come to think of it though, neither of these things are a part of either of my Christmas songs…  Whoops!)

5. Top 3 Christmas Treats

1. “Mema Squares” – my Grandma (who we call Mema) makes these unbelievable marshmallow, cornflake, coconut squares.  And they’re one of my favorite things I love about Christmas.

2. “Shortbread Cookies” – if we didn’t have shortbread cookies back home, I might not go home for Christmas…

3. “Cece’s Cinnamon Buns” – no one makes cinnamon buns like my wife Cecilia.  I’m not asking for any actual gifts this year, I’m only asking for cinnamon buns.

6. Worst Christmas present you ever received?

Surprisingly, the worst gift I ever received was my guitar.  When I was six years old, all I wanted that year was a Lego Castle.  I wanted that Lego Castle SO BAD, that when I saw a guitar under the tree, I was really disappointed.  Looking back now, it clearly was the best thing I’ve ever received – because I couldn’t make a living playing Lego…

7. Any funny Christmas memories or stories?

When I received an electric guitar and amp for Christmas when I was 16, I would play it non-stop.  I would play it so loud and so often, that when my Mom and Dad were hosting a New Year’s party, they asked me to stop playing or take the guitar and amp to the garage.  So naturally I bundled up, and started playing guitar in the cold garage.

Hours later, my uncle Derrick, who had enjoyed a few too many New Year’s cocktails, stepped out into the garage to see how I was doing.  He was quite the funny sight to see, and he insisted on writing a song with me.  As we all know, it’s tough to reason with someone who’s had too much to drink, so I indulged.

Uncle Derrick said that we need to write a song about poker, and girls, and in about 30 seconds, he started rambling off some pretty funny lines!  He started by saying: “Hey Darlin’, you’re lookin’ a little flush – but don’t worry ‘cause I’m straight – so there’s no need to rush!”

I was loving it.

So in about 20 minutes I wrote a song with my uncle called “Queen on the River” a little Western-Swing beauty.

I later released the song to our local radio station, and in no time the entire province was playing the song.  It went to #1.  Yep, the song I write with my drunk uncle, went straight to #1.  Go figure.

8. Real Christmas tree or fake?

Don’t get me wrong; I love the smell and feel of a real tree.  But our condo in Nashville won’t allow real trees.  So we had to go with a fake one this year…

9. Your top 3 Holiday Traditions?

1. “Washing the Heart” – as my grand-father says: “You wake up in the morning and you wash your hands, you wash your face, and you wash your heart.”  So every morning before doing the farm chores, the guys always take a little shot with Grandpa, and wash our hearts.

2. “Plywooding” – It’s a redneck game we’ve invented on our farm.  You rope up a sheet of plywood and pull it behind a snowmobile.  If you fall off, you lose.  If you stay on, you win.  And I’m the champion, for many years in a row now.

3. “Steak Dinner” – since we raise cattle on a great cattle ranch in Northern, Alberta, we don’t have a traditional turkey dinner with the Kissel side of the family.  We enjoy a big steak barbecue, where we actually give thanks to the great year we had in the cattle business. 

10. Who has the funniest Christmas sweater?

My Grandma Betty has made some unbelievable Christmas vests over the years.  If you’re a female, over 70 years old, and you wear one, they look amazing on you.  If you’re a young man in your twenties, and you throw one on, you’ll get quite the laugh.

11. What is at the top of your Christmas list?

Go on a holiday!  Even though we’ve traveled across Canada this year, and played close to 200 events, my wife and I desperately want to go somewhere warm, where cell phones don’t work, and we can eat seafood all day long, with our toes in the sand.  Oh, and drink pina coladas until they cut us off.

12. What goes on top of your tree?

This year my wife constructed a beautiful burlap bow/star thing for the top of our tree.  It looks magnificent on our new tree – since there’s a burlap/music/old-country theme to our tree!

Watch the lyric videos for “Not So Perfect Christmas” and “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” below!