Oh what a joy for a reviewer – to be able to take a break from some of the fab pantos in the Merseyside area.

Time to sit back, relax take your mind of shopping the dinner and hear some glorious festive classics.

Also a chance to join in with some of the singing.

Audience participation of the classical kind.

The concerts are a slick, well-thought out selection of beautiful words and music that make up some of our most famous and lesser known carols.

The Spirit of Christmas at the Philharmonic Hall is an increasingly popular week-long series of shows and each year they go from seasonal strength to strength.

Two huge on stage Christmas trees set the scene the minute you walk in to the splendid venue known for its impeccable acoustics.

It is simply impossible not to come away wrapped up in festive warmth. It’s like stepping into a huge musical advent calendar.

Master of ceremonies is Classic FM’s snow-haired John Suchet who is one of our best news readers.

Here John provides some light humour with a ‘news report’ from the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Conductor Ian Tracey’s wide smile can be seen from the stage to the grand circle.

And this year there is a return from a special guest Mexican tenor Jesús León who was last here in 2012.

He has played some of the biggest global venues and this Beatle fan revealed how happy he was returning to Liverpool.

International star Jesús treated the wide-aged audience to a sublime Ave Maria from Franz Schubert and The Lord’s Prayer arranged by the masterful Ian Tracey.

The 12 Days of Christmas, Good King Wenceslas and the punultimate Oh Come All Ye Faithful has the aisles alight.

Jesús came back on strumming his guitar to Silent Night sung in Spanish, German and English.

A truly memorable highlight alongside the choir and youth choir on Away In a Manger.

He returned again for the upbeat atmospheric encore Feliz Navidad donning sombrero.

Members of the choir and orchestra also put on party hats.

This was a feel good show with something for everyone.

And I applaud the programme notes that asks audiences to try and stifle coughs and sneezes and avoid unwrapping sweets during quiet moments and to switch off mobiles and digital watches.

My Christmas wish and beyond is that all theatres adopt this policy.

The two hours 15 minutes with an interval (a chance to buy a mince pie and mulled wine) flew by.

The Spirit of Christmas sums up a wonderful showcase for this time of year.

The Phil’s own ever welcoming Christmas presence.

Warm and Beautiful - five stars!

On until Saturday, December 23, get your tickets via the box office on 0151 709 3789 or visit liverpoolphil.com