As a kid, Chris Mann always got up bright and early on Christmas day. Not necessarily by choice though.

“My mom is one of five,” Mann told CBS Local. “They all have kids. It’s a pretty large family and they’re all early risers, which is really unfortunate the older you get.”

At seven in the morning, his grandma would be up making her egg casserole, while his grandpa was making the champagne punch.

When Mann, who just released his Home For Christmas EP, thinks of the holidays, he says, he focuses more on these memories than the gifts. But there was one particular year where his present didn’t just make it the best Christmas ever, but a life changing moment for the young singer.

While in his grandparents basement one Christmas morning he found a stack of records.

“They sounded like Frank Sinatra,” Mann explained. “My grandma came over and said, ‘you know that’s Granddad right?’ and I was like, ‘what?’”

She told him that his grandfather was an aspiring singer who had made a bunch of demos—the records Mann had found—and headed out to Los Angeles to become a star.

After a little time out there without much success, he came back to Kansas and fell in love with his grandmother. The rest was history.

“I definitely feel like I’m carrying the torch for more than myself,” Mann said. “That was the best Christmas gift I ever got.”

– Shannon Carlin, CBS Local


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