Charles Spearin isn't normally a fan of festive songs, saying, "Holiday music is mostly employed as a torturous ploy to buy things you don’t need. And yet, and yet…"

"The Christmas Box" kicks off Toronto label Arts & Crafts' own festive album Home For The Holidays, which also features seasonal selections from the likes of Hannah Georgas, Sloan, Dan Mangan and Jordan Klassen amongst others.

Of the track itself, Spearin says, "This is a song about finding small sparks of love within the mundanity of the holidays. It’s a song about getting old. It’s a song about recognizing the impermanence of all things despite the illusions of tradition."

This year saw the release of the magnificent Thank God The Plague Is Over, recorded in a chapel in Northern Italy with Swedish violinist Josefin Runsteen. The album takes its name from the grateful graffiti scrawled on the chapel walls following the elimination of the bubonic plague - survival, determination and gratitude rolled in to one. These energies were worked into the daily improvisations between Spearin’s nyckelharpa and Runsteen’s violin. It’s a moving, powerful, and occasionally explosive thing of beauty.

Download Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada XII or stream the compilation in full on Bandcamp. Find Charles Spearin on Instagram.