Believe it or not, there are only 35 shopping days until Christmas. If your taste turns to all things music when it comes to gift-giving (and receiving), I have two suggestions for your shopping list.

Ace Collins has been one of my writing heroes for years. The author of more than 90 books, including two official biographies of Lassie (it doesn’t get much cooler than that to us dog lovers!), Ace has a catalog running deep in music-related books, from celebrity bios to research- and anecdote-intensive retrospectives on America’s most-beloved songs. His latest, Stories behind the Songs & Hymns about Heaven (Baker Books, October 2019), is a collection of thirty stories that will both inspire and enlighten you, while underscoring the significance of a songwriter’s “personal story” within each song. As we like to say in Music City, ‘It all begins with a song—and a songwriter.’

For more information about and/or to purchase Stories behind the Songs & Hymns about Heaven, log on to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Christianbook. To learn more about Ace, visit his website and be sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

The Oak Ridge Boys have a history steeped in Christmas music, with seven popular Christmas albums and a well-known Christmas tour that packs 30 years of tradition into an annual holiday show crisscrossing the country every November and December. The Oaks, who are also longtime friends and heroes of mine, have another Christmas tradition in the making this year with their brand new Down Home Christmas album (Lightning Rod Records/Thirty Tigers, October 2019). Produced by six-time Grammy Award winner Dave Cobb, Down Home Christmas includes both old and new material and will warm your heart, as well as tickle your funny bone. Tracks include Reindeer on the Roof (check out the song’s iconic music video produced by IndieBling’s Brandon Wood and starring musicians John Rich and Jamey Johnson and actor-musician Dennis Quaid), Don’t Go Pullin’ on Santa Claus’ Beard, and the upbeat and addictive title track, among many others.

To purchase Down Home Christmas, log on to Amazon, iTunes, or the Oaks’ official store. To learn more about The Oak Ridge Boys visit their website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.