Scotty McCreery has had a whirlwind year but he's happy to report, that he'll be back home in North Carolina just in time for Christmas. "I'll be home. We made sure we blocked off those dates," McCreery tells Taste of Country. "I have a couple of events prior to that. It'll be a busy time but it'll be nice because when the holiday comes around, we'll be home."

One of the events the 'American Idol' singer is referring to falls just two days after Christmas, when he will travel to the Dominican Republic to deliver gifts to needy children. At the end of this week, though, McCreery and his family will divide their time between the North Carolina homes of Scotty's two grandmothers. "It's pretty simple. There's nothing really crazy we do," he said. "The last couple years my mom made cinnamon buns for breakfast and that was nice. We eat really healthy over here!"

Almost as soon as the the holiday is over, McCreery will be back to work. In January, he begins a tour with Brad Paisley, who he saw in concert long before he became a professional musician himself. "Just to get to meet him and see how down home and humble he is," said McCreery. "To see somebody that nice and down to earth, it's refreshing. It all still amazes me."

Although McCreery will again be away from home for long stretches, he said he always packs a special keepsake to take along -- a pillow his grandmother made for him years ago. "I don't carry anything like a good luck charm or anything. I never really had one," he said. "I always take my pillow. It's the pillow my grandma made for me when I was really young and I had it for years. It's a small one I sleep on. For years it was a big American flag pillow. Last year, the wear-and-tear got to it and she had to redesign it. I have it back now."

Although McCreery will be celebrating the holiday with his family, you can catch him on the pre-taped Disney Parks Christmas Day Parade on December 25. Check your local listings here.

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