Tony Rossi, Director of Communications                                        

December 5, 2021

Kristin Chenoweth on Christmas Joy and Loss  

Actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth has captivated audiences with her incomparable voice for more

than 20 years. But all her work stopped when the pandemic hit, which was difficult for an extrovert like

Kristin, who believes that making music is “one of God’s purposes for my life.”  

So during spring 2021, Kristin’s mind turned to her favorite time of year, Christmas, and she recorded an album that reflects both the joy of the holiday season, and more reflective songs inspired by the hardships that she’s faced. The result is the album “Happiness is...Christmas,” and we discussed it recently on “Christopher Closeup.” 

“When I first...thought of what the theme of the album was going to be,” recalled Kristin, “what kept coming to me was light: light at the end of the tunnel, God’s light.” As a result, one of the album’s tracks is “We are Lights.” Though originally written as a Hanukkah song, the lyrics about the light of faith—and the ways in which we can be light to one another—can be taken to heart by anyone. 

The same is true of “The Stories That You Told.” Kristin explained, “I’ve had a lot of loss these past couple years...The song is, to me, imagining someone that you’ve loved that’s passed on, and you and that person are laughing and talking about the memories that you’ve had and the stories that you’ve told each other...I believe in life hereafter, but the memories for us left behind on this earth are what keep me going.”  

There are also songs on the album that reflect Kristin’s Christmas joy. Celebrations with her family include lots of food, her father reading the story of Jesus’s birth, going to church, and making a meal that they personally deliver to someone in need. Thanks to her family, Kristin doesn’t have to be reminded to keep Christ in Christmas. It’s second nature to her. She said, “When you grow up in the South…you get born, you go to church. There’s been lots of questions on a personal level for me. Do I actually believe that? I’ve come to the conclusion that, yes, I do, because I’ve seen miracles in my life.”  

Though Kristin considers herself a happy person, she admits she endures times of sadness and depression. However, it’s hard for people to accept that about her because she is so cheery in public. She explained how she learned to deal with those difficult moments: “Happiness is a choice, and there are some days I can’t make that choice...But what I have learned to do is tell the people around me, ‘Today is not a good day for me. I’m sorry that it’s not and maybe it will change, but today stinks.”  

In order to combat her times of darkness, Kristin has adopted as her mantra the words from Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” She said, “I get quiet so that I can listen and hear what is being said to me. I believe it’s God [talking]. Sometimes it’ll not be the answer I want or the feeling I want, but that’s what I do.” 

For people who listen to “Happiness is...Christmas,” Kristin has these wishes: “I hope that they smile…And when they come upon a song like ‘The Stories That You Told,’ I hope they remember somebody that they’ve lost and their smile...There’s been so much to be bummed out about and you have to really look—seek and ye shall find…happiness.”