From PEOPLE Magazine Click to enlarge
Whether he's out in L.A., cracking jokes on his hit show The Voice, crashing at his Nashville condo or charming concertgoers across the country, the always jovial Shelton seems comfortable everywhere he goes. But there's only one place he really feels at ease. "Oklahoma is home-it's where I was born and where I still live," he says. "I just can't feel like I'm myself anywhere else."

Rural living is part of the appeal. "It's simple things like getting in my truck and driving back roads listening to the radio," he says. But more important, it's where his family is. "My mom is just a mile and a half up the road, my sister is right in Oklahoma City, and I have cousins, aunts and uncles scattered about the state," he says. "I don't want to spend all my time touring and not seeing my family at all. You're gone for years and you come back, and next thing you know somebody's baby is grown. That's not how I want to live."

After losing his father in January, Shelton is especially aware of the importance of making time for family. He plans to wrap up The Voice just in time to get home for Christmas. "My favorite Christmas for the rest of my life will be last Christmas Eve. I spent it in my dad's hospital room, watching a marathon of Dumbest Stuff on Wheels. We sat and laughed all night long," he says. "So yeah, I don't see how it could feel like Christmas without family."