Notwithstanding what Mr. Lynch wrote, I have made a mead that (unintentionally) knocked me and most of my friends "on our asses". It took me 18 months to get that simple mead (just honey, water, yeast and DAP) to taste anything like civilization.
I have also seen recipes where a mead might be at about 6 - 8 percent ABV, and be ready in 3 - 4 months.
I guess what I'm saying is that high alcohol content and quick times are mutually exclusive. If you want something quick, try grape juice and EC-1118. That should be ready in time for Christmas, and be sure to have some money for a cab.
If you are not growing your own 6th generation barley and hops, you're not *really* homebrewing.
Fermenting: Real Ale, Extract Lager (with WLP830), India Pale Ale
Drinking: Pale Ale from the keg