Review Of CMA Country Christmas Show, A Holiday Special That Tapes In Nashville & Airs On ABC Each Year

by Jenn

Christmas, Dierks Bentley, Holidays, Music And Songwriters, Nashville Fun Stuff

If you like Country music and Christmas music, then the CMA Country Christmas show is for you.

If you like Christmas music but not Country music, you may or may not enjoy this show. (There are a couple of performances by mainstream artists.)

If you like Country music but not Christmas music, this show is most likely not for you.



Let me explain…


My Family’s Review

I love Country music and Christmas music. This show was the perfect combination (in my opinion) and it really put me in the holiday mood! I did not mind sitting through the performances, the retakes, and the transition time in between artists.

My daughter likes Christmas music (almost as much as I do), but is not a huge Country music fan …unless it’s Taylor Swift. She enjoyed this show because other mainstream artists — like Colbie Caillat — performed.

My husband, who loves Country music but not Christmas music (hard to believe, I know), had a very hard time sitting through this show. He enjoyed it, but would rather go to the CMA Awards show instead. (What Country music lover wouldn’t want to attend that event, right?)


CMA Country Christmas Show Facts

Here are some interesting tidbits about the CMA Country Christmas show:

  • CMA Country Christmas is a production of the Country Music Association (CMA).
  • The show debuted in 2010.
  • Jennifer Nettles, from the Country music duo Sugarland, has been the host every year thus far.
  • Approximately a dozen artists from various musical backgrounds perform during the 2-hour holiday special which airs on ABC.
  • The show tapes the first week of November and airs a few times the week before Christmas.
  • All shows thus far have been filmed at the Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville.
  • Each year, a variety of popular Country music artists and a few mainstream artists perform traditional Christmas songs, in addition to some new songs.


The show seems to be gaining momentum:

The popularity of CMA Country Christmas grows each year. The special is reaching across format lines and bringing in new viewers who appreciate great performances. It is especially rewarding that ABC has made the decision to air the program 3 times during the holiday season. — Steve Moore, CMA Chief Executive Officer




Good To Know Before You Go

Here are 6 things you should know before you go to the CMA Country Christmas show taping in Nashville:

#1 – When you order your tickets, there is a warning to be punctual. It states the start time then says if you are not in your seats 10 to 15 minutes beforehand they will not let you sit until there is a break between artists. That’s not quite true. They won’t start the show until all the floor seats are filled. (see #3 below)

#2 – This 2-hour show will air on national television, so be prepared for retakes which could make the taping last 3 hours or longer. If an artist botches their song, says a wrong line, or just walks to the wrong spot, the producers make them perform it again …and possibly again. We had to listen to Dierks Bentley perform twice. (Oh poor us.)

#3 – Since the show airs on national television, if the floor seats are not full a few minutes before the cameras roll, they will open them up to anyone. That’s right! So don’t be disappointed if you have seats in the nosebleed section (like we did). Just hold tight and wait for the invitation to come on down. Keep in mind, however, if you are already seated in your nosebleed seats, there will not be enough time for you to run down to the floor seats. They go fast! (HINT: Hang out on the lower levels until they give the invite.)

#4 – In order to increase your chances of being chosen for the floor seats, wear your best Christmas attire. In fact, when you order your tickets, it states that they have the right to move you should they feel the need. (Like if you’re seated in front of a camera and you’re wearing something that doesn’t quite fit their holiday theme.)

#5 – If you have nosebleed seats — and you’re not able to upgrade to floor seats — you will not be on television. Disappointing, I know. But one good thing is you don’t have to worry about what you’re wearing.

#6 – If you’re sitting in the floor seats, there will be games, trivia, and the occasional opportunity to sing a traditional Christmas song yourself. (A popular CMA host runs that part of the show.) All of this takes place during the set changes and artist changes — which can add up to a lot of time. Interesting: Thanks to social media (like Twitter),  the entire audience was able to join in on some of the fun!