Craig Melvin Shares His Family’s Unique And Meaningful Christmas Singing Tradition

“Maybe we’re not the weird ones—maybe we are.”

Craig Melvin

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From Faith Hill and Tim McGraw’s spaghetti and meatballs to Dolly Parton’s elevator chimney, celebrities have all sorts of interesting Christmas traditions. 

The same is true for Craig Melvin, who shared his family’s unusual tradition in the Today streaming special, "Holidays in My House.” After demonstrating a bit of cookie making with his two young kids, the South Carolina native revealed that his family sings not carols, but "Happy Birthday" after Christmas Eve dinner.

The musical tradition comes from the anchor’s wife, Lindsay Czarniak. When Czarniak was growing up, she and her family always sang “Happy Birthday” to Baby Jesus at Christmastime.

“I remember when we were dating, she mentioned this and I thought she was joking and I sort of dismissed it,” Craig recalled. “And then, all of a sudden, I show up at her grandparents’ house for Christmas Eve dinner and after the meal was done ... they bring out this little cake.”

It took him a little while, but Craig said he ultimately warmed up to the idea.

“In fact, I would contend, if you’re not singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to Jesus and you’re celebrating Christmas, maybe you’re doing it wrong,” he joked. “Maybe we’re not the weird ones—maybe we are.”

As a parent, Craig said he finds more meaning in the holidays than ever before.

"For me, the holiday season is always extra special, since I was a little boy," he shared. "Being around family and obviously the opening of presents. But then you get older and it's like, 'Eh, Thanksgiving, Christmas, eh.' But then you have kids and you get to experience the holidays through their eyes and all of a sudden, you're a kid again."

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