Samantha Harlow Dreads the Holidays, but …


A little Scrooginess is definitely understandable around Christmastime, but there’s also something irreplaceable about the holiday season. Singer-songwriter Samantha Harlow unwraps that conflicted truth in her new video for “Once a Year.”

“I dread going home for Christmas, but even more so, I dread the day I will have no one to go home to,” Harlow explains to CMT Edge. “I know for a fact that this is a universal feeling. It’s the most stressful time of the year, but the notion of not being with my family is enough to bring me to tears.”

“Once a Year” lovingly captures the scene Harlow hurries back to each year — forgetful grandmas, proud papas and fields of snow included. But even though the Minnesota native is happy to brave a long trip and a connecting flight in Chicago each year, it’s usually a relief when the merrymaking is finally over.

“Christmas has always been bittersweet,” she admits. “I come from a broken home, so trying to give everyone enough time is stressful. We never had that storybook Christmas that everyone imagines, but my parents have always tried to make sure we have family time together when possible. I’m very fortunate to have a family that continues to work together and care.”

Backed by twangy guitars, a festive piano and even a light sprinkle of jingling bells, Harlow shows that handmade presents really are the best. And her new video for the song captures its actual recording session, along with the realization that her words could strike a deep nerve.

“Everyone kind of related to the sentiment, and we were anxious to get back in and give the final take everything they had,” she says. “Lots of laughing, lots of great music. It was everything I want from a recording session.”

Feel like saying “humbug” to the whole thing this year? Let Samantha Harlow put Christmas in perspective with the CMT Edge premiere of “Once a Year.”