Album: Neil Diamond, A Cherry Cherry Christmas (Sony)

In the sleeve notes, Neil Diamond pre-empts any feelings of incongruity at the prospect of a Jewish guy singing Christmas songs by stating that this is a magical time of year regardless of one's religion.

And off he goes, doing his heroic growly thing through jingle bell-encrusted renditions of "Deck the Halls", "White Christmas" and the like while staying true to his heritage by ending with "The Chanuka Song". It's cheese, but gift-wrapped cheese, the sort you'd give to an elderly relative in a box with a miniature bottle of port.

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