John Rich Reveals Christmas Gift From Father That Changed His Life

by Liz Holland
(Photo by John Angelillo-Pool/Getty Images)

Country singer John Rich shared a touching Christmas story recently. In a newly published book, All American Christmas by Rachel Campos-Duffy and Sean Duffy, Rich contributes greatly. However, one excerpt in particular is heartwarming. Rich recounts the year his father gave him a life-changing Christmas present. Rich was seven years old at the time. The singer writes, “As we rolled around to Christmas, I went to open up what we called our big Christmas present.

It was a big box and I sat there thinking about what it could be. I couldn’t figure it out. I opened this box up and what I saw was the guitar I’d been watching my dad play since the beginning of my life. It was the guitar he always played … I was only seven, and I was looking at that guitar and then at him.” Rich continues, writing, “At first I wondered, Why would he give me the thing that he so clearly loved and used? I didn’t understand.[Then my dad] said, ‘You’re as good as I am right now on this instrument. You need a real guitar, and with it, you’re going to be better than I am. I have no doubt you will be better than me. So I want you to have it and use it.’”

John Rich Says His Appreciation Grew With Age

John Rich says that at the time, he thought the gift was cool. However, it wasn’t until years later that the gift really had an impact. As Rich grew older, he says he came to understand how special that gesture really was. “As I got older, I thought about that gift that he gave me that Christmas,” Rich writes on Fox News.

Rich continues, saying,“Even though he couldn’t afford to give it to me, he had something to give that was bigger than anything money could buy. He taught me about sacrifice, about putting someone else’s interests ahead of your own, about putting your faith in something that you can’t see yet but you know is going to come down the line.” Rich says it was his fathers gift that started it all for him. “That’s the guitar I auditioned on for bands. I played it at talent contests when I was in high school. All that ultimately led to me getting noticed by the music industry and then having a music career. It all started with my dad handing that off to me,” Rich writes.

John Rich, now age 47, went on to have a successful career, so it looks like the gift paid off. Rich says his music for love really started, “When I was about five or six years old, he said, “Hey, you want to go with me to watch me teach guitar lessons?’” Rich’s father initially gave him a plastic guitar to play with to feel included, but shortly after gave his son the life-changing guitar.