The towering tree at Rockefeller Center, midnight mass at St. Patrick?s Cathedral, Bing Crosby singing White Christmas?these are among the core snapshots of an American Christmas. A holiday that fuses the sacred and secular, high-gloss entertainment and deep spiritual meaning, Christmas in the United States is built on longstanding rituals at the same time as new riffs are continually being invented. It has its own distinct identity, and in one of the most culturally diverse societies on the globe, a Christian holiday has risen as the country?s most prominent. The striking array of works conducted by Judith Clurman on this recording open a window onto the many facets of a contemporary Christmas. Most of these compositions were first performed at one of the annual Christmas-tree-lighting ceremonies at Lincoln Center, where Clurman has directed music-making since 1992, and many were commissioned for those events.