Is it any surprise that Dolly Parton loves Christmas? She’s released multiple Christmas albums, appeared in several made-for-TV Christmas movies, and puts on an annual “Smoky Mountain Christmas” extravaganza at her Tennessee theme park, Dollywood. But this year, the Queen of Country is really going all out.
For 2020, Parton has a new Christmas album, A Holly Dolly Christmas; a new Netflix movie, Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square; and an hour-long holiday special that will air on CBS on Dec. 6. In an interview with Good Housekeeping, she talked about her love of Christmas and how she plans to celebrate this year despite the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Dolly Parton says ‘Christmas means everything to me’
Parton loves getting into the holiday spirit. The “Coat of Many Colors” singer told the magazine that Christmas “has always been my favorite holiday.”
“Christmas means everything to me … I often dress up as Santa Clause and wear red, white, and green throughout the Christmas holidays,” she said.
For Parton, Christmas Day festivities include getting up early and cooking while she plays Christmas songs. The 9 to 5 star said her husband Carl Dean keeps that mind when he shops for her gifts.
“Carl often buys me things like aprons or oven mitts. People laugh when they find out. They ask, ‘What’s your husband getting you?’ thinking it will be a diamond ring! But he just buys me what he knows I really want,” she said. Her husband of more than 50 years also keeps the love alive by writing his wife poems, while she writes him songs.
How Dolly Parton plans to celebrate Christmas in 2020
The pandemic has forced many Americans to rethink their holiday plans, and Parton is no exception. She says she’s going to do her best to make the day memorable, while also keeping everyone safe. (She told Good Housekeeping that Dean is not in good health.)
“I’ll still try to make Christmas special this year,” she said. “I have a couple of sisters and several nieces and nephews who live nearby in Nashville, so I’m hoping I’ll be able to spend Christmas with a limited amount of family.”
Like many others, Parton will also be embracing virtual gatherings this year.
“Of course, we’ll be calling all our friends, Zoomin’ and FaceTimein’ the ones who we won’t get to see,” she said. “I’m just hoping we’ll find a way to be together safely. All I want for Christmas this year is joy and peace of mind.”
Dolly Parton hopes her new Christmas album lifts people’s spirits
It’s been three decades since Parton last released a Christmas album — 1990’s Home for Christmas. In an interview with Elle, Parton explained why she decided 2020 was the right year for another collection of holiday songs. The new album features appearances from Parton’s brother Randy as well as Willie Nelson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus, Michael Bublé, and Jimmy Fallon.
“Well, Lord, you know it’s been thirty years since I did my last [Christmas album],” she said. “I can’t believe that fact myself. But with COVID and all of the things going on in our country right now, I felt like we really needed a break and to do it with a holiday message seemed perfect to me.”
Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square is streaming on Netflix beginning Sunday, Nov. 22. A Holly Dolly Christmas will air Sunday, Dec. 6 at 8:30 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT on CBS.