“’Different Kind of Christmas’ was inspired by my father in-law, who passed away a few years ago. When I was dating my now wife, the first Christmas that I was over there, he was in charge of the stocking stuffers. I’ll never forget… in my stocking that year were some Vienna sausages, tube socks, and a flashlight! I just thought, man, if I have to go to an underground bunker after Christmas, this was the stocking stuffer to get. Regardless, I grew to love him so much. He was just a great man and while he wasn’t one of those people that would tell you that he loved you, he always knew how to show you that he would love you.
The one exception to that was at Christmas time. Growing up, my wife would leave milk and cookies for Santa by the fireplace and every Christmas morning, she would wake up to find a letter. Santa would write things like, ‘Your dad tells me he’s so proud of you and he just loves the girl that you are.’ Through those Christmas letters became this symbolic legacy that he would leave behind. It was always something that she looked forward to every year. The first Christmas my father-in-law was gone, there was a hole for us because he wasn’t there. We missed all the things that we would do for Christmas that he used to do.
I remember my wife saying, ‘It’s just a different kind of Christmas this year.’ We both just looked at each other and that’s where the idea of the song was born. The bottom line is this: when you live well and you love well, even when you’re gone, you leave behind a legacy. That’s what this song is all about.” –Mark Schultz