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Holidays on Ice

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  83,695 Ratings  ·  4,127 Reviews
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 ...more
Audiobook, 3 pages
Published October 1st 2008 by Grand Central Publishing (first published December 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I feel weird reviewing this book right now because the honest truth is: I really genuinely did not like it. And yet I’ve been called out recently by a bunch of helpful strangers on Goodreads for not liking their favorite books—this asshole telling me I should avoid all literary fiction, this one here saying that my problem is with fiction in general—and I fear I’m going to develop a reputation for hating books, and then Otis will kick me off Goodreads and all the mean girls in the Feedback Group ...more
Dec 04, 2008 Annie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To the tune of “Frosty the Snowman”

Da-vid Se-daris
Was a writer oh-so-droll
With a quirky style and take on life
That will put you on the floor.

Da-vid Se-daris
Writes the weirdest stuff you’ll see
About the Christmas whore and the Macy’s elves
And deathly children’s pageantry.

There must have been some crazy
In the Sedaris family tree
‘Cause David ain’t the only one
Have you seen his sister Amy?

Oh! Da-vid Se-daris!
Can your stories all be true?
It matters not when you write as hot
As in Holidays on Ice!
After reading the first short story, I thought this was going to be a delightful book. "SantaLand Diaries," after all, had me rolling down the isle of the plane on which I was reading it... Okay, I was just giggling constantly with frequent bursts of loud laugher interspersed. No rolling, but still very humiliating on the whole. At any rate, I came home in a dither to read the other stories as well. Ugh. Appalling. Not a single chuckle among them. Worse, they were gross, often offensive (and I d ...more
I always get David Sedaris and Dave Eggers confused for some reason. Until now, I've never read anything by either of them, but I can't remember who it is that everyone seems to hate. Sedaris? Eggers? Both? I had planned to read this a year ago, but forgot I had it. I thought I'd better read it now during the holidays so I wouldn't have to wait another year to get to it--I can never watch Christmas movies or read holiday stories when it's not Christmas; it's depressing.

Anyway, this was a perfect
Aug 15, 2010 Ellen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

My mother was a little crazy.

She saw people looking through our windows, heard them whispering under our porch, spotted private family conversations in the newspaper, unexpectedly screamed profanity at people who looked suspicious (sometimes while we were in a restaurant or some other very public location), and thought the writing on trucks and other vehicles that passed us on the road were coded messages just for her. … It was a bit creepy.

My father didn’t help. Rather than acknowledging my mo
Jason Koivu
Jun 21, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, humor
Holidays on Ice puts David Sedaris on ice. Why? Because, aside from one inclusion, this is a collection of short fiction, where as when he's riffing on real life in his other books, the man is on fire!

Sedaris is best listened to rather than read, in my opinion. I always go the audiobook route with him, because he narrates them himself, adding in all the oh-so-necessary inflection, as well as some hilarious renditions of his parents and, one of my favorites, Billie Holiday. But here too is an iss
Dec 07, 2011 TK421 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays-auto-bio
So it might be a little cruel of me to review a book about Christmas when Christmas is off most of our radars, but, hey, there's still snow on the ground where I live so I'm allowing myself this review.

Like most people, I have often laughed at the strange humor David Sedaris illuminates in his past books, Naked being the funniest, IMO. When I was given a copy of HOLIDAYS ON ICE I knew what I was about to get into, so it sat on my shelves for a few months. On a whim, I plucked it from the mass o
Okay. Let it be said: "Santaland Diaries," the first essay of this book, is wonderful. But the rest of the book is basically filler; this was before Sedaris found his niche (humor essayist), and it really shows. He should never, ever write fiction, for example, and yet he tries to here. The results are not pretty, or even very readable.

It's also notable that half of the pieces in this short book have appeared in other collections of his. So, really, this is not worth buying; get "Santaland Diari
Apr 13, 2008 cassarooni rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In 2004 I was in a relationship where partner and I had very different ideas of what the holidays should look like. He's all about family and one-up-manship in the category of who brought the most unique/popular gift and who created the best dish for the potluck end of the Christmas meal.
Me, I'd rather vacate. So I packed up the dog this one year and drove to a secret get-away for Christmas alone. (Think "ahhh," not "awww") His gift to me was this book on CD, which I listened to during the 3 ho
Alison Looney
I'm afraid my book-selection privileges will be revoked by my book club for choosing this one.

I enjoy David Sedaris, in part because of his constant vigilance for finding the worst in people. Exploring the darker side of man makes for funny personal essays.

But when he turns to fiction, he has absolute creative control over his subjects. Instead of reporting on someone's shortcomings, he's inventing them. Perhaps this power is too much - he can't seem to help but create the worst imaginable scen
Nov 19, 2014 Fewlas rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: racconti, americana
David Sedaris debuttò alla radio proprio con un pezzo sul Natale, nel quale raccontava la sua esperienza da elfo in un grande magazzino durante le feste natalizie.
In questa breve raccolta troviamo quattro pezzi sul Natale, anche se solo uno tratta della vita personale di Sedaris, e devo dire che secondo me è in assoluto uno dei suoi migliori racconti. In questo suo “Dinah, la zoccola di Natale”, Sedaris riesce a coniugare con brillante umorismo la percezione bambinesca e adulta delle feste natal
Holidays on Ice is great right down to the cover which features an alcoholic beverage with ice in in it (adorable and much like my family's holidays). It features Christmas themed stories some his holiday experiences, others just featuring his talent as a writer. Santa land Diaries is the first essay and it is the star of this show. These are journal entries from when David at the age of 33 worked as an elf at Macy's the age of 33.
It chronicles the insane parents, the unfortunat
The Holy Terror
Nov 13, 2011 The Holy Terror rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to The Holy Terror by: Jeannine
There were only three stories in this collection that I didn't absolutely despise; Santaland Diaries, Dinah the Christmas Whore, and 6 to 8 Black Men were the only ones that were even remotely funny. The rest I honestly wish I had never read. I'd suggest reading these in the store or borrowing the book from the library if you really want to read it. Don't waste your money on this collection, especially the hardcover version, unless you really want to spend money on stories about a baby killed in ...more
This book gets one star instead of zero because I did not completely hate "Dinah the Christmas Whore" and thought "SantaLand Diares" was just kind of okay. I didn't like any of the other stories even the slightest bit.
Sep 20, 2011 Catie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I’m feeling down and fragile (from too many “emotional” reads), there’s nothing quite like David Sedaris to comfort me. I just snuggle in and wrap myself up in his thick coating of cynicism and mockery…mmmmmmm…cozy.

This particular collection is all about the holidays: that magical time when we manage to take a season that’s all about peace, charity, and goodwill and then just shit all over it. The horrid Christmas “specials,” the family update letters with waaaaay too much information, the
Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is a reread for me, although this version has a few more new stories.

Sedaris's version of the holidays is a comfort in a world saturated with sentimentality during Christmas. He pushes the limits, and hearing it in his voice is the way to go.

"The Santaland Diaries" feels like the greatest classic, about being a seasonal Macy's elf.

"Six to Eight Black Men" was my favorite this time around, about how Christmas traditions are different in Holland, and how political correctness tends to alter t
Dec 04, 2013 Margaretann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club, library
I was looking forward to reading this as I've never read anything by David Sedaris and I had heard really good things . . . plus I was really in the mood for a light/funny book.

But, ugh, this was awful. His writing did NOTHING for me. In fact, I was rather turned off by his topics and style.

I brought the book to the DMV to read. During the god awful four hours I spent there I couldn't even bring myself to finish the last two short stories. I just sat there—bored out of my mind—because that was
Shayantani Das
The first story was amazing, listening to David Sedaris sing "O Little Town of Bethlehem" like Billie Holiday had me rolling on the floor laughing..I cracked up so many times through out the story..

The other stories though, were very mediocre, not funny at all, sometimes even gross..So the first one gets sparkling, chrismasy 4 stars from me, and the others get 1, average- 2stars for the book.
Jen B
Dec 05, 2008 Jen B rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This was my introduction to David Sedaris, and I have to say I found a couple of the stories very, very funny. "The SantaLand Diaries" - about Sedaris' job as an elf at Macy's during the Christmas season - was absolutely hilarious. It took me back to my collegiate summer job at Walt Disney World, where I, too, was forced to deal with pushy adults, bratty kids, and an uncomfortable and unflattering uniform. I also thought "Delilah the Christmas Whore" was entertaining - as much for its references ...more
Nov 20, 2007 Alison rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rgbookclub
David Sedaris is messed up! I can't even begin to tell you, you'll just have to read these Christmas stories on crack and find out for yourself.

Holidays on Ice is a collection of six short stories all wrapped up in a black Christmas bow. They are dark, sarcastic, evil, irreverent, funny, real, revealing, and sweet.

SantaLand Diaries recounts Sedaris's experience working as a Christmas elf in Santaland at Macy's in Manhattan. He encounters overzealous, self-centered, and racist parents. He flirts
Jan 18, 2010 Lynn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I finally met a David Sedaris work I hated. I admit, I was warned - but only that it "wasn't funny". I don't consider myself easily offended and, we are talking about David Sedaris here, so I wondered, "How "not funny" could it be?" I feel that a sense of humor is a personal kind of thing and I, myself, am often amused by cynicism, sarcasm, and irreverence so I went into it, if not with the usual gusto I feel when starting one of this author's books, at least with some expectations, however low. ...more
Dec 29, 2014 Ann rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
It would be a lie to truly say I "read" this book, because I gave up on it & just started flicking through, in the hopes of something redeeming leaping out at me. Nothing did. I enjoyed the elf story but really disliked the rest. It left me feeling plain icky and upset. A cynical and depressing view of the world.
Sheylon (Eric) Burgess
I keep trying to like David Sedaris but I just don’t find him that funny or entertaining. Three books in, he’s like the sad-sack but reasonably witty guy in your sophomore writing class that was amusing while the semester was going but you don’t feel a strong urge to connect with on Facebook when it's time to move on. His observations are dry, cynical and devoid of insight. I picked up this slim volume at the library book sale and thought it would be funny to read in June with Christmas ages awa ...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
I tried, but I give up.

The first story, "Santa Land Diaries," was great. Sedaris's tale of working as a Macy's department store elf is hilarious! Those people who inevitably make the news every Black Friday by pepper spraying and punching their fellow shoppers? I think they all go to Macy's at Christmas. Sedaris writes about them with his usual biting wit. My favorite scene had to be when he gets fed up with this awful Santa who keeps making him sing Christmas carols with the kids. Sedaris sings
Sarah Cauble
Feb 24, 2013 Sarah Cauble rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After hearing David Sedaris' books are laugh out loud funny, I couldn't wait to read one. I chose "Holidays on Ice" as my first. To my dismay, I hardly enjoyed this book at all. For one, I couldn't tell whose perspective some of the chapters were written from; many of them definitely weren't from David's, which I found odd. Secondly, most of the stories felt like pure rambling. And it wasn't funny rambling, it was what is the point of this? rambling. I literally only laughed twice throughout the ...more
Jo Ann
I can only say I thought one story was mildly funny and the rest were just plain awful.
Dec 21, 2014 Briana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What the Fuuuh did I just read??? Not my style at all. Wishing I could have my money back for that purchase and I want my one star back but there is no other option for rating it.
Christina Mitchell
Another night of the public television fund drive that bounces regular programming, another night with a book. I'm not complaining. Reading is a tremendous joy for me. And, the fact that I am studying for my doctorate means my personal reading time is very limited. Thus, last night was a win-win situation. Public television got to raise much needed funding and I got to have the grand experience of uninterrupted personal reading time. I don't think I could have asked for better bookish company th ...more
Dec 26, 2012 Britany rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This was a book filled with 6 different stories, they were funny, but some of them were a little lame...

I listened to this as an audiobook and David Sedaris actually read the book, which was both parts entertaining and annoying. His voice is high and slightly annoying to listen to.

Not sure if I would do another audiobook by him... :/
Dec 21, 2015 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, short-stories
I really liked the stories with Sedaris as the narrator. "Santaland" made me laugh out loud. But the other stories, though clever, seemed to be trying too hard to be shocking.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
David Leite's Boo...: Purpose of Humor 18 16 Dec 29, 2015 08:59AM  
David Leite's Boo...: Try too hard? 8 11 Dec 10, 2015 04:10PM  
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David Sedaris is a Grammy Award-nominated American humorist and radio contributor.

Sedaris came to prominence in 1992 when National Public Radio broadcast his essay "SantaLand Diaries." He published his first collection of essays and short stories, Barrel Fever, in 1994. Each of his four subsequent essay collections, Naked (1997), Holidays on Ice (1997), Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000), Dress Your Fa
More about David Sedaris...

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