Who Could Know?
When a baby girl was born February 15, 1980, in Seattle, Washington, no one on this earth knew where this girl would go or what she would do or who would ultimately direct her life. No one could know she would be gifted with such honors as Emmy nominated national news correspondent, host, emcee, speaker, wife, mother, producer, actress, and author. No one knew faith in Jesus Christ and standing true to His principles would solidify her worldview or that this faith would affect her family and career and even society. No one on this earth knew, but her Heavenly Father emceed it all (Proverbs 16:9).
Alexander credits her mom and dad with wisdom that helped her maneuver through life’s hard messes. Her dad’s treating people of all walks of life with dignity and respect—whether the building’s security guard or the company’s CEO—modeled invaluable life skills. Her mom’s sage advice for forming friendships proved priceless: be open to new relationships; when you feel left out at school, keep your eyes open for others who might feel left out, too. God can use us when we allow ourselves to be available to Him and seek out new friendships and new people.
However, Megan came to a crossroads similar to the choice in Robert Frost’s “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” Through Christian school, her parents, and her church, God had always been part of her life. That wasn’t enough in middle school. She asked herself what she believed apart from familiarity. Was the road to Jesus Christ really for her? Was something called a “personal relationship with Him” even possible? Ultimately, she chose the path less traveled, and that has made all the difference: the difference that helps Megan as a long-time Christian stay true to her beliefs in a secular industry, to discern when it is appropriate to share her beliefs in a professional setting.
Megan Jeanne Shrader became Megan Alexander. She married Brian and became mother of sons Chace and Catcher and daughter Capri. The boys love baseball, and weekends are often filled with ball park activities or taking day hikes in surrounding areas. Another favorite family treat is strolling through Gaylord Opryland’s botanical gardens, locally called “the jungle.” The family attends Bethel World Outreach Church in Brentwood where Megan volunteers with Meals on Wheels. She squeezes in workout time at the local Franklin YMCA.
“I fell in love with Nashville when I first moved here in the Fall of 2002. My college roommate was from Nashville, and I came home with her that spring. I instantly knew this is where I wanted to work and raise my family someday. My very first night in Nashville I slept in my car parked in the parking lot of the Grand Ole Opry—just so I could say I did. That seemed like the perfect introduction to a life of excitement in Nashville. My Mom was appalled! After a detour to Texas and NYC, I finally got back here ten years ago.”
Earning a Seat
Megan Alexander formulated a life philosophy centered around “table”—earning a seat at the table, the table that allows her a voice into influencing society. Toward Jesus’ standards of love and accountability.
Alexander has long wanted to be known for good work first, for gaining the respect of colleagues, letting them see that she will deliver for them, that she is a team player and will get the job done. She thinks of this as earning her seat at the table. She enjoys working in television, turning a story, and making deadline. She is convinced that doing good work gains people a seat at the table where they then can have a platform to share. During rare travels, Alexander spends enough time with colleagues, whether it’s breaking news or when they’re covering the Super Bowl, that sharing many of life’s ups and downs—births to deaths—occurs. “When opportunities arise [I can] share how to get through life and what comforts—living out faith in Jesus with others.”
Faith in the Spotlight
Earning a seat at the table comes in various ways, and for Megan one way is through writing. Her book, Faith in the Spotlight: Thriving in Your Career While Staying True to Your Beliefs (2016) expounds on principles of faith in Jesus.She speaks to the issue of how Christians can thrive in a secular world rather than merely complain about not being represented in the media or being silenced in popular culture. She writes about the importance of mentors, coping with rejection, handling high-pressure situations, and the ways being a Christian fulfills her role in a superficial society. She knows how difficult it can be for Christian women to get ahead in their careers and simultaneously navigate their roles at home and in their faith. She offers a fresh millennial-centered perspective on how to build a successful career while being married and focusing on family. She gives inspiring, real-life examples of why women can—and should—lead in the workplace.
Alexander reminds Christians that God’s Spirit will tell us what to say, where to go, and what to do (“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you,” John 14:26) when we look to Him for guidance. Believers in all walks of life are sent by Jesus into the world to make a difference for Him—to take their seats at the table, raise their hands, and offer another viewpoint. Behind culture is the powerful media and entertainment world. Behind them “We must be as gentle as doves and as wise as serpents” (Matthew 10:16). It’s a both/and situation, not either/or—gentleness and wisdom, doves and serpents. Having a positive impact more likely occurs when we believers master our craft and do it with excellence so we can bring to the table good works that reflect our faith (James 2:26).
One More Hug
Continuing to define her seat at the table, Alexander wrote a children’s picture book undergirding family, One More Hug (2019). For children ages four to eight and their parents as well, One More Hug was inspired by her eldest son when his getting on that big, frightening school bus for kindergarten was opportunity for Mama to provide confidence through hug after hug. There’s always time for one more hug and unconditional love to help a child navigate life, even when it’s time to go off to college.
The Table Expands
Alexander presents another glimpse into her career and wide experiences as she navigates Christmas across the country through her UPTV series, Small Town Christmas, and her latest children’s picture book, The Magic of a Small Town Christmas. The book is a beautiful rendition of family values, heart, and the joy of the holiday season in the spirit of her TV show. “I believe our small towns are the heartbeat of America. And they come to life in magical ways during the holidays. Whether it’s the large Christmas tree located in the center of the town square, the kids laughing at the local ice-skating rink, a church filled with Christmas music, eating yummy gingerbread cookies, hanging handmade stockings, sharing a home-cooked meal, or the glow of candles in the windows—these small-town scenes are heartwarming to see and experience. I have traveled the country for my TV show and have experienced how so many small towns and their people celebrate Christmas in special ways. From longtime local traditions to classic Christmas sights and sounds, I tried to capture an element of each of these towns and incorporate them into this book. I hope to write more books.”
Heartbeat Falls may be an imaginary town, but Megan hopes that when you turn the pages, you will see a little of your hometown, your local holiday traditions, and your neighbors in the words and illustrations, just as she does when she celebrates with her own family.
Hosted by executive producer Megan Alexander, the second season of UPTV’s docu-series, Small Town Christmas, beginsairing November 20, 2022, 8:00 PM, CT time. Each televised episode spotlights a different small town around the country to show how its people ring in the Christmas season. The series focuses on local businesses and towns that make the holiday season special in their unique way. The residents of these towns know the beauty of a small town doesn’t merely come from its size but from the love shared by its people. Viewers experience small town foods, drinks, entertainment, and faith highlighted in local businesses.
“I’m producing and hosting the Christmas show because I want to contribute positive content to the world. I want to be able to read [books] and watch [programs] with my kids. My full-time job is mom of three and author and owner of my own production company. We are working on producing movies, and I would love to film one in Middle Tennessee. I believe in the people.
Baby girl Megan grows up, learns, thrives, believes Jesus, and continues to share Him in a challenging environment. Where will He direct her steps next and at what table will He offer her a seat?
Sheila E. Moss: author of Living to Matter: Mothers, Singles, and the Weary and Broken; Interrupting Women: Ten Conversations with Jesus; and international publications derived from teaching Bible and Christian ethics in Africa, Ukraine, Venezuela, and England; teacher of Bible classes for 35+ years; mother of five adult children and grandmother of eleven grandchildrenSunday
|ANNOUNCING SEASON II OF REALITY SERIES, SMALL TOWN CHRISTMAS, ON UPTV Hosted by Executive Producer, Inside Edition’s Megan Alexander|
Children’s Book, The Magic of a Small Town Christmas, now available
Small Town Christmas: The Harvest Special. Sunday, November 20 at 8 PM, CT This episode features Burt’s Pumpkin Farm in Elijay, GA.—all things fall: apples, hay, changing leaves, and pumpkins.
Small Town Christmas: Pigeon Forge, TN. Sunday, December 4 at 8 PM, CT This episode highlights the Christmas magic at Dollywood.
Small Town Christmas: North Pole, AK. Sunday, December 11 at 8 PM, CT This episode takes place in North Pole, Alaska, and features the Santa Claus House and the world’s tallest Santa Claus statue.
Small Town Christmas: Frostburg, MD. Sunday, December 18 at 8 PM, CT Depicts Frostburg, MD, a storybook town come to life. For the past 15 years, local college students have dressed up as Elves and competed in a Christmas cookie toss, snowball fights, Christmas tree relay, “Elfaoke,” and more to support a charity in the “Elf Olympics.”
Stay in touch with Megan Alexander on her website and social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok and watch videos on her official YouTube account. Stay connected with her on LinkedIN.
Find Megan selling The Magic of a Small Town Christmas at the Dickens Festival in Franklin, TN this year—both days.