Carrie Underwood has not only been spreading holiday cheer with her Christmas album, My Gift, but also with her HBO Max special, My Gift: A Christmas Special From Carrie Underwood. On the special, Underwood is accompanied by an orchestra as she performs songs from the album. Underwood said the special was full circle for her, as it was recorded where her career first began.
“We shot in the same sound studio that I was on American Idol— that’s where they used to shoot American Idol, so it was like coming home a little bit, a little full-circle moment which was really cool,” she told a group of reporters, including Sounds Like Nashville. “To now have this beautiful, grand special fifteen years later is just kind of a ‘Wow, pinch me,’ kind of moment.”
Throughout the special the singer belts out the holiday classics and originals from the album surrounded by a warm Christmas set and wearing many beautiful gowns. Underwood said she particularly enjoyed the process of choosing her stage outfits after a year of not playing shows.
“I feel like I’ve been in my sweatpants all year, so I was excited,” she said. “Usually for me, fittings are like, ‘Eh,’ you know. You go and you try on a bunch of stuff and it’s usually really uncomfortable, but this was really special because I was like, ‘Yay, I get to do this!’ Absence, I guess, made the heart grow more fashionable, I don’t know.”
Two stand-out moments in the special are when Underwood performs “Hallelujah” with John Legend and when her 5-year-old son Isaiah joins her for “Little Drummer Boy.” However, there was one moment in the show that struck Underwood in a particularly emotional way.
“When I did ‘O Holy Night,’ which is a really difficult song to sing, I could feel the light behind me,” she said. “There’s a moment when it’s getting very dramatic and the orchestra really just — I feel like we were just feeding off of each other, and on that last ‘Christ is the Lord,’ I could feel the lights behind me. That moment, watching it back, because I feel what I felt when I was singing it, it was just such a powerful, beautiful moment. I feel like that was one that it was just like, ‘Alright, hold it together and hit the high note, Carrie.’”
My Gift: A Christmas Special From Carrie Underwood is now streaming on HBO Max.