Holidays on Ice

Holidays on Ice

by David Sedaris


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David Sedaris's beloved holiday collection is new again with six more pieces, including a never before published story. Along with such favorites as the diaries of a Macy's elf and the annals of two very competitive families, are Sedaris's tales of tardy trick-or-treaters ("Us and Them"); the difficulties of explaining the Easter Bunny to the French ("Jesus Shaves"); what to do when you've been locked out in a snowstorm ("Let It Snow"); the puzzling Christmas traditions of other nations ("Six to Eight Black Men"); what Halloween at the medical examiner's looks like ("The Monster Mash"); and a barnyard secret Santa scheme gone awry ("Cow and Turkey").

No matter what your favorite holiday, you won't want to miss celebrating it with the author who has been called "one of the funniest writers alive" (Economist).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316078917
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 10/20/2010
Pages: 166
Sales rank: 113,396
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

David Sedaris is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Public Radio International's "This American Life." He is the author of the books When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Naked, and Barrel Fever.


London, England

Date of Birth:

December 26, 1956

Place of Birth:

Johnson City, New York


B.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago, 1987

Table of Contents

SantaLand Diaries
Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!
Dinah, the Christmas Whore
Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol
Based Upon a True Story
Christmas Means Giving

Customer Reviews

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Holidays on Ice 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 287 reviews.
FeliciaPM More than 1 year ago
David Sedaris once again brilliantly entertains us with his fabulously witty insights and edgy musings on a different view of the holidays in this collection of short stories and embellished essays. A great escape for any memeber of the family during the trying times of the holidays, or for any person who can relate to the complicated nature families seem to exist in when they get together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Holidays on ice is absolutely one of the funniest books I've ever had the sheer pleasure of reading. The 'Macy's Elf' essay is side-splittingly funny.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Holidays on Ice - It's hard to write a review through the tears of laughter. A very funny book. Remember the school Christmas plays? Suppose a theater critic was there and wrote a review. It happens in Holidays on Ice. Santaland Diaries is a classic that everyone who ever waited in line to sit on Santa's lap will appreciate. And there's the Christmas letter from hell. Don't wait until December to read this book. Read it now!
diane12557 More than 1 year ago
As always, I find David's stories about his childhood, his family, his odd jobs (Santa's elf!),incredibly funny and sad. His spot-on commentary about himself, his family, the people around him and the situations in which he finds himself or has put himself truly make me laugh out loud...and then sigh. This book, however, features only a few David Sedaris-esque stories. Big applause for those! The rest of the book is, well, mean-spirited. And, well, not humorous.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first half of the book was soooo funny. However, I felt that the last half of the book was kind of blah. I love David Sedaris and would recommend any of his books if you like crude-ish humor.
ironicqueery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Nice little book of holiday essay/stories by David Sedaris. "SantaLand Diaries" is probably the best story - telling of Sedaris's experience as a Christmas Elf at Macy's. Learning about the behind the scenes action was enjoyable and humerous. I also enjoyed "Front Row Center" - a review of theatrical performances - well, maybe just typical elementary school Christmas plays. Sedaris treats them no different than other other performance however and the results are funny.
BinnieBee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As with Searis' other books, this is very funny! It is a collection of a few short, humourous stories.
Ardwick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Humorous series of stories of both David Sedaris experiences and his family and some made up. His account of being an elf at Macey's was good.
wrmjr66 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some laugh out loud essays/stories along with a few sentimental tales make this a really fun book to read. It's not your traditional Christmas fare--and it's not for the easily offended--but if you like Sedaris, this is a good collection of his work.
kelawrence on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was funny, but in my opinion many of the segments were too long. The second CD isn't even worth it - at parts I felt it was trying too hard. The third CD is the best. I have read other Sedaris works, but this just didn't do it for me.
WholeHouseLibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book by David Sedaris that I have read. It was a recent purchase, and there is only one reason it was at the top of Mount To-Be-Read ¿ its size. It¿s a hardcover book slightly larger than 5¿x7¿ and a mere 134 pages. If I had put it at the bottom of the stack, the entire pile would have become unstable. I also wanted a quick, amusing read, as I¿ve had a steady diet of large(ish) novels lately. I should also mention two things at this point. One is that I am writing the review several months after having read the book. The other thing is this: This is the short version of the book. There are six short stories within. Two weeks ago, I found another copy of the book on a shelf at a local big-box bookstore and it seemed suspiciously thick. That version of the book (same title, same design on the dust jacket, same price, mind you) contained twelve stories. I feel cheated. Caveat emptor.I¿ve known of the author for decades, having heard him on several occasions on NPR. He¿s a very funny guy, and the first story - SantaLand Diaries lived up to my expectations.The rest of these stories are dark. They have plenty of very funny, insightful observations of life in them, but by and large ¿ they¿re tragic. I can¿t resolve what I¿ve grown accustomed to - his sense of humor - with what happens in these stories. It goes beyond cynicism. I can¿t believe he thought that he was being funny. Or maybe, I¿m just taking it all too seriously ¿ the CIP page clearly indicates, ¿2. Humorous stories, American¿ under the ISBN. I was not amused.Don¿t get me wrong. These are well-crafted stories, and they speak volumes about how life can whack you between the eyeballs. It wasn¿t what I was expecting (or hoping for), though.The rating is more for the writing, not the content.
mrn945 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps more appropriate before the holidays than after, this was the best book I have read in a long time. Funny, witty, and cool, it was quite simply incredible!! I've been wanting to read something by him for quite some time and it was certainly worth the wait!
bragan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This small collection of humorous holiday-themed stories mixes personal anecdotes and fiction, and is written with David Sedaris' usual cynical, sardonic sense of humor. I expected to really like this one, because I remembered hearing Sedaris reading a couple of these pieces on This American Life and quite enjoying them. Unfortunately, it turned out that I'd actually already heard most of them there, and many of them weren't nearly as good the second time. Or maybe they're just funnier when Sedaris reads them. The standout is "The SantaLand Diaries," about the day-to-day experience of working as a department store elf, which was, in fact, every bit as funny the second time (and was also a slightly longer version than the one I originally heard on the podcast, which was nice). Otherwise, well, the rest of it wasn't at all bad, but it generally didn't do more than raise a little smile here and there. And, while I'm normally in favor of a nice black comedy, I think a couple of them were a little too dark for my current mood. I really should have saved this book for Christmastime, when they might instead have made a nice counterpoint to all the annoying holiday cheer.
Markus56 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a neat little collection of hilarious anecdotes on what many experince as a tricky time of year. The two stand out stories for me were the first about being a Macy's Xams elf and the other about the vietnames daughter. Enjoy
ferdinand1213 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not the best of David Sedaris, but any David Sedaris is good. The holiday theme running through the book is a perfect compliment for the sense of holiday exhaustion that most of us feel during the long holiday season.
sproutchild on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Read it or listen to the cd; Santaland Diaries is hysterical. Topped only by the Christmas form letter from the crazily retentive suburban mother. D. Sedaris understands my pain at reading the droning list of "milestones" in the Christmas newsletter/bragfest.
SirRoger on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
'SantaLand' and 'Dinah' are classic, but most of the others are quite forgettable. I'd much rather combine the former with Rakoff's 'Christmas Freud,' which should also be classic.
Bridget770 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't know what possessed me to read this book in May, but it was laugh-out-loud funny! I truly enjoyed this stories and plan to pass the book around my family during the holidays to relieve some stress.
lahochstetler on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This collection of short stories and essays remind the reader of the complete and utter absurdity of the holidays. The best of the selections is undeniably Sedaris's memoir of working as an elf in the Santa display at Macy's in Manhattan. Tales from the Santa line are just as absurd as one might expect. Sedaris's maligning of children's Christmas pageants is good too. The other stories were not as funny. This confirms what I've always suspected about Sedaris, which is that he shines in the humorous memoir genre. And really, he is quite a funny man. The non-memoir material means that this is not the strongest of his work. It's good for a holiday chuckle, and probably best for those who have to face crazy holiday relatives, but this is by no means the best of Sedaris.
sweans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While all of the stories in this book are good in their own way, none of them quite stand up to the first "SantaLand Diaries".
bespectacledbug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received Holidays on Ice for Christmas and my friend's inscription on the inside cover read, "I hope this gets you through the winter in NYC as it did for us." As a group of short stories, this book might be quick read but the moments that Sedaris shares with his audience will keep you warm and laughing through the cold months of the year. His writing is simple and successful as it makes light of the dark truths of humanity. After reading his work, you will inevitably (and pleasurably) begin to observe the world through the Sedaris lens of cynicism and humor. I especially recommend "Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family."
tjblue on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A short fast read! Some may find a few humorous anecdotes, but every story was too crude for my taste. Especially the crack baby, that was put in the washer and dryer and died. I would not recommend this author.
rivkat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Starts with a great essay on being a Macy¿s Elf, then gets unpleasant: the humor is about how clueless, racist, insensitive, and overall horrible the narrators are, with ludicrous exaggerations of current cultural phenomena, and they don¿t work as satire because they¿re just too broad. His nonfiction, though obviously it¿s as carefully curated as the fiction, is better because it has to be constrained by plausibility and thus can actually do some incisive work. Or maybe because his major target is usually himself, which takes a bunch of the meanness out of it.
ArtsyReader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Having very much enjoyed "Me Talk Pretty One Day," I picked this up with high hopes. Unfortunately, this book was not nearly as funny. The first story, "Santaland Diaries" was the closest to the Sedaris most people love, a hilarious look at his job as a Christmas elf at Macy's. Unfortunately, the rest of the stories in the book were just not funny. Some of them even crossed the line into disturbing. If you've never read Sedaris before, avoid this one, it will taint your view.
melydia on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Since I haven't read Barrel Fever, all but one of the stories in this collection were new to me, and I really enjoyed them all. Some of them were more weird than funny, but there were enough laugh-out-loud moments to make up for the bits that fell short of awesome. I especially enjoyed the Santaland Diaries, about Sedaris's stint as a Macy's elf, and Front Row Center, which is basically what would happen if a theater critic started covering elementary school Christmas pageants. Definitely recommended, but not if you're feeling too sentimental about the holidays. Sentimental is one thing this book definitely is not.