The world is getting darker, my friends, and that special time of year is upon us—there are about to be turkeys and tofu options, menorahs and Christmas trees, special issues, Eartha Kitt singing “Santa Baby” in every store you walk in to, and, of course, all of the hanging out with those strange people who look a lot like you but might not think like you at all. And they’re about to get all up in your grill. They will ask why you’re not engaged to your live-in boyfriend yet. They will ask whatever happened to that nice girl Vanessa. They will ask why you haven’t found a job yet. They may even be the type to tell you to pray away the gay. You and your SO may be sequestered to separate sleeping arrangements over a long holiday weekend while nieces run about with food on their faces demanding the gift of cousins from you specifically. You will fear these four-foot tyrants. But you will still give them gifts, even as your bank account crumbles in the wake of your mere sideways glance.

Fear not, small grasshoppers! You shall stand strong in the holiday chaos! And you can give the gift that keeps on giving. You will give unto the world . . . the Mixtape. It will cost nothing but your soul.