'Tis the season to be jolly'n'shit. Traipse out the mince pies and parade gaudy flickering whorehouse-neons over your abode, cause that's just tradition. You know what else is? An absolute surplus of cheesy sleigh-bell-riddled anthems, festive paeans and Cliff Richard. Amidst all the trite, plastic pap and cloying crapola, there are, would you Adam and Eve it, actually some sublime gems. Well, in all honesty, even the gorgozola-scented tracks that serve to fill Noddy Holder's pockets (apparently to the tune of £800,000 this year) are pretty damn fun. Did someone say (yell) "IT'S CHRISTMAS!"?

Obviously you've got classic efforts from The Pogues, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Mariah Carey, Wizard, Sinatra, She & Him, Wham!, Shakin' Stevens, various Beatles, Harry Reser, East 17, The Darkness, Sufjan Stevens Band Aid, Slade and a multitude of others that crop up but once a year (except awkwardly when iTunes is on shuffle and you've got a prospective lover between your sheets), but we're here to rekindled the memories of long-since forgotten treasure and dig up some underground chunks of pleasure.

Released roughly a year ago, Hear and Concord jointly released a glorious mixed bag of blizzard-blasted cocoa soundtracks. Featuring Calexico, The Civil Wars, Eleanor Friedberger, Sharon Von Etten, The Shins and many more, it's a wonderful, under-appreciated collection of modern Xmas numbers. Though some are deliriously weird, it's nice to see a different side to some famously dour acts; beware however, pep-mongerers fun. are lurking.

Oh yes, Kanye's Christmas hymn. Produced by Hit-Boy, the instrumental appeared on a Christmas-themed mixtape in 2010, alongside versions of 'Little Drummer Boy' and 'Deck The Halls'. As great as the uber-talented Hit-Boy is, the true glee comes from Kanye sounding truly happy, even laughing. Just look at his little face.

Download the tape here.

This may not be great, but John Waters' 2004 Christmas LP is worth a listen for the sheer surreality of it. Highlights include the expletive-riddled number above, Tiny Tim singing 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer' and a guest spot from Alvin and The Chipmunks. A round of applause to the legendary Baltimorean for making the strangest Christmas record.

The winter of 2002 saw our favourite sour-faced indie rockers dive right into the holiday spirit with a loose collection of Christmassy ditties on A Very Arcade Christmas. Polished, it is not, but there's a charm in there amongst the revelry, and if legend is true, the utter hammered-ness of it all (it really does sound like Win & Co have one too many sherries).

Back in 1996, Death Row Records slipped out this divine anthology. With numbers by Snoop Dogg, J-Flexx, Nate Dogg, Danny Boy and Michel'le, it's a surreal deviation into G-funk and the west-coast gangsta rap/hip-hop from the genre's original golden era. Somehow, through numbers like 'Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto' and covers of 'O, Holy Night' and 'White Christmas', it avoids being weighed down by ego and in fact comes out a bonafide Christmas record. Entirely surreal and oddball, but it's still got that tinsel glitz and the jangle of bells.

It's pretty safe to assume that most people have probably forgotten about Boyz II Men's Christmas Interpretations album, released back in 1993 - a whopping twenty years ago - but you probably shouldn't eschew it, given their impeccable mostly a cappella cover of 'Silent Night'. If people weren't sure that these guys were, in fact, golden-throated angels, then this is proof; stuffed with gorgeous harmonies and wonderful original cuts like 'Joyous Night', it's an LP that should be on regular rotation come 1 December.

In 1978 Jacob Miller and Ray I released this doozy into the ether. Featuring classic tracks reworked into reggae and dancehall tunes with lyrics like: "We wish you a irie Christmas and a dancehall new year!" and "We skank and rock it to da riddim!" Sure, it's a massive novelty/gag record, but it breaks up the standard twee-pop and classic rock jingling for a while. Also, the lilting syncopation works strangely well in a Christmas scenario.

Most famous for 'Green Onions', influential classic R&B group Booker T and the M.G.s also unleashed an underrated Christmas record. Delivering chilled-out funk and soul versions of Christmas classics sans vocals, they succeed at making an LP that's technically magnificent, timely and original without erring to the saccharine or being too ostentatious. Less for office parties or raucous shindigs, whack this baby on as you slump in sofas trying halfheartedly to digest enough turkey so you can stuff some brandy cream-slathered pud down yer gullet.