I'd go on, but I've run out of superlatives for Loreena McKennitt. She is by far my favourite female recording artist, so admittedly, I'm biased, but I really do love this disc. An expansion on her earlier EP (A Winter Garden), it is a beautifully recorded and performed selection of seasonal material which would bring pleasure to a Scrooge with dyspepsia. Loreena's vocals just seem to get better (and yes, she is just as good live), her musicians are all at the top of their game, and the result is a collection that spans genres from traditional to humourous to haunting. Sit back and feel the years roll away. I thought about mentioning my favourites, but then realised I'd have to talk at length about the whole album, as there are no weak links at all. I bought three copies last year, one for myself and two as presents for relatives who have since started buying all of Loreena's other recordings. No great surprise there.
If I have one criticism of this particular edition, it would be with the packaging. Yes, it's very pretty indeed, but a snowy-white outer card sleeve with a matt finish, and an intricate cut-out is not the most practical I've ever encountered, and even if you are very careful, is next to impossible to keep completely clean. Still, it's the music that is important, and here, this album excels. If you're considering buying it, do so. You will not regret your decision for one moment.