The band for KING & COUNTRY will join Casting Crowns for "A Glorious Christmas" on Dec. 7 at CenturyLink Center.

Christmas is a time for family. Some families will gather around the fireplace and sing their favorite holiday songs. Brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone will take a different approach. As the leaders of the band for KING & COUNTRY, they will gather around a microphone and share their favorite Christmas songs with fans at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, at the CenturyLink Center.

Casting Crowns is performing with for KING & COUNTRY on the “A Glorious Christmas” tour. The bands have performed together before, and Luke Smallbone said he likes it that way.

“I love it,” he said. “When you have two acts that kind of share each others fan abases, right from the start, we are going to go up there and it’s go time. I am personally a fan of having acts together that support each other. There’s no competing. We know who we are and they know who they are.”

Luke said that singing classic Christmas songs presents a unique challenge.

“These are some of the greatest songs ever,” he said. “You’ve got to be careful to respect where they came from. But as an artist, you have the task of making it your own.”

He said that after he read the lyrics recently, “Little Drummer Boy” has become one of his holiday favorites.

“This song is about a little boy, He’s poor. He has nothing but a little drum,” Luke said. “The only thing he can think to give Jesus is to play his drum. I think that’s why it connects — because we all feel like that little drummer boy.”

Luke added that he enjoys Christmas tours because it’s an opportunity to bring hope to people. He said that hope is particularly important this year in the wake of recent tragedies. He recalled the first concert for KING & COUNTRY performed at a fair after the mass shootings in Las Vegas.

“We are on the side of the stage, getting ready to go on,” he said. “There were helicopters flying above us, patrolling. Security told us there were police officer and SWAT teams on rooftops looking down. That’s a moment where you wonder ‘Am I going to be freaked out by this, or am I going to push through?’

“The thing I find amazing about people is that we all desire hope. That’s what makes the Christmas show really special. We as a nation have been through a lot. But at Christmas, we don’t have to focus on this things. People want to be afraid. Christmas repels fear.”

Tickets are on sale through the CenturyLink box office and Ticketmaster. Call the box office at (318) 747-2501, or shop online at centurylinkcenter.com.

By Scott Anderson