By Eileen Finan
December 08, 2012 06:30 PM
Credit: Bauer-Griffin

After a year of professional highs – and personal lowsJason Aldean is looking forward to a quiet holiday with family.

“I’m on the road so much during the year, so what I look forward to the most is being home with my family, ” he told PEOPLE at the taping of the CMT Artists of the Year special (airing Saturday at 10/9 CT), where he walked the red carpet hand-in-hand with his wife, Jessica.

Aldean says being with Jessica and their daughters – Keeley, 10, and Kendyl, 5 – and doing “things like taking the girls to the mall to shop or to see Santa Claus” are on his holiday must-do list. “Things that simple to me are really cool.”

Looking back at 2012, some highlights for the country star include releasing a chart-topping album and playing sold out stadiums.

But Aldean also faced personal hurdles when photos surfaced showing him getting affectionate with another woman. Still, for the singer, who publicly apologized for his behavior, life is good.

“This year, the tour went really well, the album has done really well, and good stuff has definitely outweighed the bad,” he says. “All that other stuff is kind of in the past and we’re just looking to have a great year in 2013.”