Brad Paisley Recalls Drive Home to West Virginia From College to Celebrate Thanksgiving With Family

Plus, how things change when you have a family of your own.

Brad Paisley In Concert - Abbotsford, BC
Photo: Andrew Chin/Getty Images

Country star Brad Paisley hails from the small town of Glen Dale, West Virginia, about 10 miles outside of Wheeling. He may now reside in Nashville, Tennessee, but even as a college student at Belmont University he knew the importance of home—especially during the holidays.

When it came to Thanksgiving, young Paisley made the eight-hour trek home from Nashville with no qualms. "I remember when I first moved to Nashville, and the holiday of going home, and taking a week there where you get a school break. I was at Belmont and I would drive up to West Virginia to see the family and I hadn’t seen them usually since August," he recalls to country music website The Country Daily. "That’s really what Thanksgiving is about, I guess it’s that holiday, when I think it’s more common for people to go back to where they’re from on that holiday than it is even on Christmas," he continues, adding that he's even heard a stat that it's almost a three-to-two ratio for how many people go home to where they grew up over the Thanksgiving holiday.

"And so that for me always kept me grounded, and it’s been very interesting to start these traditions here and learn not to leave," he reflects on now spending the holiday in Nashville with his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley and sons, William and Jasper. "I remember the first year I didn’t leave you know, and if you have the kids first in the family you're set, because that’s where the tradition starts."

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This year, the family's household has been keeping busy giving back amid the coronavirus pandemic, pledging one million meals as part of a Feeding America initiative called the “Million Meal Donation Tour," and pivoting their free Nashville supermarket for the food insecure, The Store, to offer curbside pickup and delivery to seniors during this time of crisis.

Their spirit of generosity is moving to us all, and we hope the Williams-Paisley household is able to enjoy some new at-home traditions this year. If this year has taught us anything, it's that not much in life surpasses the simple joy of a good tune, spending time with those you love, and a nourishing meal.

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