Listen to Tim Halperin on iHeartRadio

'American Idol' alum Tim Halperin has the Christmas spirit if his new release, Under That Christmas Spell is any indication. The EP features covers of popular holiday songs like "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" as well as original material like title track, "Under That Christmas Spell."

Buy Under That Christmas Spell from the Amazon MP3 store

Tim stopped by the iHeartRadio studios recently to play a few songs, talk about how the holiday EP came about and share his 5 favorite things about Christmas.

"I'm a Starbucks freak," Tim says. "Last year I went to Starbucks the first day they gave out the red cups, and instantly knew I had to write a Christmas song." That's all it took. Tim, who went to TCU, has become friends with Dallas' 106.1 Kiss FM DJ Kidd Kraddick.  "I was actually going to Kidd Kraddick's studio that day... and I said, 'Kidd, is anything going on in there today?' I literally sat in there for four hours and wrote a Christmas song."

"I love Christmas time," Tim adds. "I think it's just because I'm a real smiley, positive person, so I love that time of year, because everyone else is typically more happy."

Check out Tim's 5 favorite things about Christmas:

1. Picking out a Christmas tree 
"I worked on a Christmas tree farm in highschool," Tim says, and one of his favorite things to do is to go back there and pick out a tree.

2. Drinking hot chocolate 
"[The Christmas Tree Farm] had the best hot chocolate in the world," Tim says, and he couldn't resist. "Have to do it, otherwise I don't get Under That Christmas Spell."

3. Decorating the Christmas tree 
"Whether that's my tree at home or going to a tree lighting, I think it's awesome."

4. Going to church on Christmas Eve 
Tim loves "singing the traditional carols with candlelight."

5. Christmas morning in Nebraska

Listen to "Under That Christmas Spell" below.

Photos by Katherine Tyler