This is an adaptation of a recipe I got from the November 1997 LA Times Food Section, back when we lived in the Land of the Forever Sun. It's really good, but I, I have made it better.
Combine the following ingredients in a saucepan:
1 & 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
12 whole cloves
4 whole allspice
4 pieces of cinnamon sticks
a goodly chunk of ginger
4-9 star anise
Edited to add: put the spices (save the cinnamon) in a tea caddy thingie if you have one. It will save you having to fish them out later. Trust me, they tend to disappear amongst the cranberries.
Cook, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear. I like to leave it at this point and let the whole mixture sit for 20 minutes, so the spices can really go to town. Then fire up the heat underneath the pot and add a package of cranberries. When they are popping wildly (about 5 minutes later), turn off the heat and cover. Let sit for ages. But before you do that add in the grated rind of at least 3 oranges.
And that's all you do. People will swoon and tell you it's the best thing you've ever made. Well, unless they are amongst those godless heathen who favour the canned variety, in which case you must feel free to ignore them and know that your tastebuds ARE superior.