Home, released in 2015, is Giles’ sixth studio album and first Christmas project. Classic Christmas hymns and carols with strong vocals, a little gospel flavor, and lots of joy extend an invitation for all to gather 'round the Manger this holiday season.
Though I certainly didn't know it at the time, the journey toward this Christmas album began around 8 years ago at a Christmas Eve service at Snyder Memorial Baptist Church in Fayetteville, NC, when we took the opportunity to hear stories of folks who were "Home for Christmas" - from a college student, a spouse home after a long deployment, someone after an extended time in the hospital - and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was a special part of that worship gathering. And if I’ve learned anything from living in community with military families over the last 12 years it’s this: Home is not so much a structure as it is a place where you’re surrounded by family and friends and love and support.
For me, growing up in Martinsville, VA, and now for my family in Fayetteville, NC, Home is a safe place of laughter and joy and always music. Home is bigger than my immediate family and extends to my community of faith and certainly those friends who will drop whatever they’re doing to help if ever I’m in need. Home is the living room at Mom and Dad’s at Christmas singing these songs on our old upright with all the Aunts, Uncles, Brothers, Sisters, and Cousins. Home is caroling door to door in my neighborhood with my worship team, guitars and songbooks at the ready and a cup of hot chocolate at the end. Home is lifting these songs in corporate worship with my church family as we prepare for and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Home is a sanctuary on Hillsboro Street in Fayetteville, NC, where I get to break bread with the homeless of our community and where mercy is new, the coffee is hot, and Jesus, as he came into a waiting world 2000 years ago, comes still into all the broken and beautiful pieces of our lives and breathes hope and salvation. Home is the place that beckons all of us “rowdy, old shepherds and upperclass kings to lay down our pride and still bend a knee”...at the manger...at the feet of Jesus. May this and every holiday season find us all Home for Christmas.