My original Christmas mixtapes.
Every year I make a compilation of Christmas music and oddities to share with friends and family. This is no drag-and-drop project. Heaven forfend! I spend an embarrassing amount of time and energy on this. I listen to old radio shows and out-of-print albums for material. I write and record new stuff. I design covers. I edit tracks for time and interest and splice different ones together. I record interviews and edit those, adding music and such. I play with the sequence and massage the crossfades until it's as close as I can possibly make it to a professional-quality product.
I wrote an essay about it for the Washington Post.
I've been making these since 2006. The 2009, 2010 and 2011 editions each individually represent tens upon dozens of hours of my labor, but I'm pleased with how they turned out. I wish I enjoyed writing as much as I enjoy making these compilations.