Craig Gerdes debuts his new single, “Christmas Eve at Our House,” exclusively with C&I.

’Tis the season for bundling up by the fire with some hot cocoa to listen to your favorite holiday tunes. In that festive spirit, C&I is excited to present a new addition to that playlist.

Up-and-coming country artist Craig Gerdes’ new single, “Christmas Eve at Our House,” is a fun two-steppin’ tune with a relatable hometown story about family Christmases. From the song’s steel guitar twang to Gerdes’ deep voice, the track is equipped with everything country fans love about the genre, and we’re delivering it exclusively just in time for the holidays.

My label [Sol Records] recently called me and asked how quickly I could write a Christmas song. I slept on it, woke up the next morning, and wrote the song start to finish. It’s a humorous take on Christmas Eve. Growing up, my family gatherings always involved drinkin’, smokin’, and guitar pickin’. Looking back, it would probably make for great reality TV nowadays,” says Gerdes, who comes from rural Illinois and maintains his favorite Christmas song is Burl Ives’ “A Holly Jolly Christmas.”

Fueled by an autobiographical tale of a holiday family gathering, his own take on a Christmas tune features some killer sleigh-bell sounds.

“During the recording session, we realized that since we were making a Christmas song we had to have some sleigh bells on it,” Gerdes says. “But sleigh bells aren’t always easy to find [on the] spur of the moment! Our producer, Brian DeBruler, did some searching and ended up finding a 100-plus-year-old sleigh bell that once belonged to his great-grandparents. There’s some history in those bells.”

The track gives a tantalizing taste of Gerdes’ forthcoming album, Smokin’, Drinkin’ & Gamblin’, due out February 16, which promises more “outlaw-country rug cutters and ballads about strong heads and weak hearts.”

For a toe-tappin’ kickoff to the holidays, have a listen to “Christmas Eve at Our House.”

For more information on Craig Gerdes, visit his website.