I may be a day late and dollar short in recommending a holiday album for the Christmas season but here goes. Five-time Grammy Award winning folk/pop singer-songwriter Mary Chapin-Carpenter who for twenty years has been known for her thoughtful baby-boomer ballads and an occasional chart topping hit has released a collection of all original Christmas music, "Come Darkness, Come Light: Twelve Songs of Christmas". This mostly acoustic collection provides an all too rare opportunity to enjoy new music in place of the seasonal chestnuts that are heard a thousand times a day in department stores, elevators and car washes across this great land. Chapin-Carpenter brings to bear tender melodies and lyrics that not only capture the flavor of the season but draw on her own spirituality without becoming preachy or self-serving. The intimacy and intelligence of her writing just naturally draws the listener in regardless of faith. It is an album of recollection, of hope and reconciliation, and it’s a prayer for peace on Earth–gifts that are perennially (and sadly) in short supply at the end of year. Her longtime producer John Jennings has done a tasteful job on the crisp, clean arrangements and Chapin-Carpenters rich throaty vocals play will warm the house like a hot spiced cider. Distributed by Zoë/Rounder bonus tracks are also available on iTunes (“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and B&N (“Silent Night”).