The holidays are apparently for lovers, and Lee Ann Womack presents a few new originals here, including the opening title track, to place things in the proper perspective. There's also a cover of "The Man with the Bag" that's previously only been featured on Ally McBeal: A Very Ally Christmas
. Nevertheless, it's on the traditional songs--including never-can-go-wrong usual suspects like "White Christmas," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," and "The Christmas Song"--that Womack's evocative vocals come across most memorably. A "big band" album in the vein of holiday offerings from some of the greatest crooners of the '60s, this moves the 2002 Country Music Association's Female Vocalist of the Year even further away from her country roots than her more recent pop-oriented discs did. Accordingly, Harry Connick Jr.
shows up to duet with the singer on a version of "Baby, It's Cold Outside" that seems destined to become a holiday staple, even if it's a bit corny. --Bill Holdship