On A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, Brian O'Donovan, the host of the Celtic Sojourn radio show, compiles a collection of songs that mixes the contemplative with more raucous fare, ancient melodies with modern, and the earthy with the ethereal. The musicians come from all corners of the Celtic world, and include the Breton choir Ensemble Choral du Bout du Monde, who blend medieval vocal harmonies with modern instruments such as the tin whistle and the guitar; Dordan, the masters of Irish baroque music; and the pan-Celtic band the Boys of the Lough. Also included are English performers Maddy Prior (the lead singer of Steeleye Span) and the family group Waterson:Carthy, who deliver a hearty version of the "The Ditchling Carol." The majority of the tracks feature vocals, but the instrumental selections–particularly fiddler Bonnie Rideout's haunting "Gloomy Winter" and the lovely "Midwinter Waltz" from the Boys of the Lough–do a beautiful job of wordlessly evoking the season. By passing over too-familiar Christmas songs in favor of less-well-known melodies, O'Donovan has come up with that rarest of all holiday treats–a gift that that both surprises and delights.