The Guardian's Music Editor has found a tuneful way to send seasonal greetings

Weekends in November become a hell in our house. Our family, you see, does not send out Christmas cards. We distribute CDs of Christmas music, researched, compiled, burned and then packaged by me, over the course of two or three weekends. So I spend November poring over MP3 blogs and sorting through my CDs to find the perfect 30 or so songs. Our tradition began at the end of my first year editing the Guardian’s music coverage, in 2006. Deluged in festive albums, I thought I’d turn them into something more fun than a Christmas card. The recipients seem to think so, too – as years have passed, I’ve started getting requests, and now I have to make around 200 of them. That’s where November goes. There’s a policy: the music must be either good or interesting. And preferably little known. No Slade, no Wham!, no Top of the Pops staples – soul, funk and folk provide rich pickings. The harder you look, the better the snippets – I’m proud of the year I topped and tailed the CD with Christmas messages from Mae West and the long-forgotten metal band Quiet Riot. As I write, I’m just starting to think about this year’s compilation. And wondering where I might find the perfect song no one has ever heard before.

Michael Hann tweets at @MichaelAHann

Listen to Michael's Christmas playlist now.