Weeks after announcing their engagementLuke Combs and wife-to-be Nicole Hocking will spend the holidays apart.

"I think we are actually going to do a separate Christmas thing," Combs told Taste of Country before a show in Chicago on Dec. 13. "We did Thanksgiving with her parents and my parents at our new house, so I think she is going to go see her folks for about five days and I'm going to see my folks for about five days and we are all going to see our friends that we don't get to see anymore. I think that will be really good."

And while some might wonder why the two would be apart on their first Christmas as an engaged couple, Combs seems to take it in stride.

"It's neat to have that kind of relationship," he assures. "There is no pressure for her to come to Asheville (North Carolina) or me to come to go there. We are just cool. We can be apart and know its going to be great when we are back together. That's really neat. There is no pressure on that end of it."

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The lovebirds do plan to spend New Year's Eve together, though the plans have yet to take shape.

"We have no plans for New Year's Eve quite yet," Combs says, laughing. "We have been trying to figure out what we are going to do. We have absolutely no idea. If I'm awake by midnight, I'll probably be watching all of my country music friends on (Dick Clark's) New Year's Rockin’ Eve and be glad that I am siting at home on my couch. (Laughs.)  We will play it by ear, but if nothing happens, that will be great too, honestly."

Combs' low-key plans are certainly well deserved, as the North Carolina native has quite a packed tour schedule in 2019 — which may not include a wedding to Hocking.

"It will probably be a year from now at least, maybe even over a year," the "She Got the Best of Me" singer says, speaking of a wedding timeline. "Next year's touring is going to be a lot."

For the rising star — who will embark on his first-ever arena headlining tour in the year year — is just happy to be engaged.

"I guess things are more official in the eyes of the world, but it doesn't feel that different," Combs admits. "We’ve been serious for a long time. It's just neat now to be in a more team like atmosphere, where it's like a partnership. We help each other with so much stuff and so many life things. I know she's going to be around to help me out, and likewise."

 

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