One might wonder how Stefani maintains her steadfast, starry-eyed belief in romance after two very public back-to-back breakups (her previous long-term relationship, with No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal, inspired much of that band’s landmark album Tragic Kingdom). Stefani tells Yahoo Entertainment she “wasn’t even looking [for love] or trying or anything” back in 2015, and admits that when she first started dating Shelton, “I know everybody was like, ‘What are you doing?’ I was the same way! But it just happened, and I just took it.”

Stefani credits her religious faith and a recent spiritual rebirth for allowing her to love again. “At the time when it was going down, never in my wildest dreams would I ever imagine the miracle that happened to me,” she says. “Some people don’t like to hear this, but for me it was a spiritual intervention. It was a true miracle. I think the only way I got through all the hard times is just my spiritual faith and my belief in God, because I’ve just seen the miracles around me.

“I know it makes people uncomfortable to talk about it, but we are at Christmas, a spiritual time, and I am proof of those things,” she continues. “Honestly, that’s just how I got through it and how I got to this place and recognized the gift that was given to me: a new friendship. My No. 1 thing in my life is my faith and everything else falls after that, and I just always have been constantly asking for guidance. That’s all I care about. Everything else is underneath that. [Shelton] was just one of the gifts that I was given. And I’m so very, very, very grateful.”

As for this Christmas, last year Stefani and Shelton made homemade gnocchi, manicotti, and Stefani’s grandmother’s lasagna (“We just cooked and cooked and cooked!”), and this year, Stefani says, “My holiday challenge will be, if I can do it, gingerbread.” Stefani says “tradition is really important” to her, but says her favorite new holiday tradition is just getting to spend the season with her new love on his home turf.

“I think really for our whole family, that’s a new tradition right there, just the experience of Oklahoma and the middle of America. It’s just that cultural collision [between Oklahoma and Stefani’s Southern California] that I love. I’m such a huge fan of cultures and learning their traditions and combining them with what we’re doing. It’s cute.”