Aaron Watson isn't Santa Claus, but the country star is delivering a long-awaited gift to his fans this holiday season.

His present? An Aaron Watson Family Christmas; a 10-track Christmas album of seasonal standards and two new Christmas-themed originals. The word family in the album title isn’t a ruse, either — Watson actually called on his wife and three children to help sing on the project.

"For the last five years, I have been harassed by fans around November and December," Watson tells Taste of Country. "The comments roll in, things are said at my shows — it's all people wanting a Christmas record. And after the holidays [in 2017], I was sitting at the table with my wife and three kiddos and I said, 'I’ve got to make a Christmas record. What if we all made it together?' My kids went crazy and then my wife was like, 'Oh my word, what am I getting myself into?'"

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To record the album, the Watsons swapped their usual summer vacation for a staycation that had the whole fam thinking Yuletide cheer in the June Texas heat. It’s hard to imagine 100 degree days and swimming in the backyard as inspirational tools for a Christmas album (Watson admits it was tough), so the country star offset the summer vibe by listening to Frank Sinatra and Beach Boys Christmas albums in the sun. He even decorated his home recording studio (which required turning his wife's closet into a vocal booth) with Christmas lights. After that, it was all about getting the right performances from the family.

"The kids weren’t nervous," Watson says. "They had fun. My wife, on the other hand, she was a bit of a diva and she usually is not. … We put the kids to bed one night and I was like, 'You’ve got to help me sing this song.' She’d been rehearsing and singing along with it in the car and now we’re in her closet. I got her all mic’d up, she’s got on the headphones and I’d play the track and she would just barely sing. And I kind of turned into the ruthless producer (laughs). I’m like, 'What are you doing? You're not singing!' She goes, 'I don’t know, I just don’t feel comfortable. I’m kind of embarrassed.’ I go, 'We're in your closet! I’ve seen you naked! I watched you birth children!' I’m sorry, but I made some really good points (laughs). Closet, naked, birthed children; sing the song for crying out loud. And she was like, 'OK OK' and oh my goodness, she did so good."

If Watson isn’t sent to the couch after his wife reads that he called her a diva, he says the family plans on visiting Disney World for Christmas. It's an extra gift to make up for having the family work on what was supposed to be their summer vacation.

As for content, the album boasts Christmas favorites like "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bells," while the two originals are "She Stared at Him All Night," written by Drew Womack, and "Lonely Lonestar Christmas," a Watson-penned ode to his native Texas.

An Aaron Watson Family Christmas was released on October 5.

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