After meeting them 2 years ago and after an impromptu interview, I found a friend in the Nelsons and their Christmas show gave me, my family and all of Rhythm City Casino something to smile about.

Oh the Nelson boys. My older sister and I used to swoon at their pics and we'd fight over who 'got Gunnar' and who got "Matthew.' Little did I know at the time they were part of an iconic family, embedded deeply in roots of rock-n-roll history.  Rich with stories, the Nelsons show up fully-loaded with a talent that shows both their influence and their own artistic abilities.

Remember when they looked like this?

Two years ago, in Davenport, IA., Matthew and Gunnar were here playing a tribute to their father, Ricky Nelson. Oddly, he was also a crush of mine in my teen years, right along with Elvis. Call me an 'old soul,' but I loved the 50s and 60s so much, that my room had checkered floors and looked similarly to a Maid-Rite diner. Something about that era, even musically, intrigued me.

I don't know what compelled me to ignore standard interview 'protocol' (arranging with their management and/or the venue) but I decided that night, I was going to interview them. I brought my computer and microphone and all my equipment and just showed up. Thankfully, they were gracious enough to do it. I was simultaneously going through one of the worst times in my life (my divorce) and it was that night, Matthew Nelson stepped out of the usual role of 'celebrity' and became a friend. He talked with me, shared some of his own journey in life and gave me some advice and encouragement. It was like a healing balm to my soul. I carried that with me. He also said, "It's not a matter of IF we see each other again. It's only a matter of WHEN."  I knew he meant it.

Fast forward two years. I was contacted to interview them and introduce them at the Rhythm City Casino and Hotel last night for their Christmas show, Christmas with the Nelsons. I was ecstatic and so very happy to be able to talk with them again.They remembered that ambush interview and we caught up on life. It was great. I brought my family to the show, we hung out in their dressing room and watched them put on their stage makeup. My youngest, naturally, chimed in with tips on bronzer, thanks to the makeup tutorials she watches on YouTube.

For a long time, Christmas was not something I looked forward to celebrating. It made me sad and each year it seemed to get worse. I didn't want that to be the tradition my children remembered. Not of me, not of the holiday. So, I decided this year we'd do something musical. Christmas with the Nelsons was the perfect opportunity and their love of Christmas, and the shared stories of their legendary family, became a part of our family Christmas this year.

I am grateful. I am honored. I am blessed to make new friends who have felt like family all along. Life works in mysterious ways and being open to love and kindness, wherever it comes from. It certainly beats being a 'grinch.'

The Nelsons' original song 'This Christmas' (a duet with sisters, Carnie and Wendy Wilson, from the 90s girl group Wilson Phillips) is now #5 on the holiday charts and the rich harmonies these brothers and sisters share, left so many in the industry asking, 'What took you all so long ?" I'm excited to see what will come from their collaboration.

Grab their holiday album This Christmas, Too.