Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “SantaLand Diaries” as Want to Read:
SantaLand Diaries
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

SantaLand Diaries

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  44,538 ratings  ·  511 reviews
'Santaland Diaries' contains six of David Sedaris' most profound Christmas stories, from Dinah, the Christmas Whore to Season's Greetings to our Friends and Family. ...more
Paperback, 138 pages
Published 2006 by Abacus (first published October 1st 1998)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about SantaLand Diaries, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about SantaLand Diaries

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.32  · 
Rating details
 ·  44,538 ratings  ·  511 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of SantaLand Diaries
Aimee Meacham
Aug 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend you listen to Sedaris read the Santaland Diaries aloud. You can find it in the "This American Life" archives. His voice adds so much to this already funny story. ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Dec 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Last night, we watched It's a Wonderland Life and today, listen once again to Santaland Diaries, of the time Sedaris worked as a Santa's elf at Macy's in Chicago. This rating is for that essay, ignoring for now the others, which are variable, but also never less than good, but just in case you have never heard David Sedaris read his own work, (or maybe especially for those who have, because no one is funnier reading his own work than Sedaris, and once heard, you will listen again and again) and ...more
This story had me rolling on the floor it was so funny. Who knew what went on in SantaLand? This is inspired. This was a story in 'Holidays on Ice' and I have seen a one-man show of this that sold me on it because he was amazing.

Long live Crumpet!
Lorenzo Berardi
Feb 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008, american
Read. Re-read. Re-re-read. And on and on and on. I think I have a problem with this essay. That's the only point on which my doctor and shrink agree. They suggested me to rehab. I tried.

I found a job. The more you work the less you think. That's what I thought before thinking less. The job was great and satisfactory. I gave leaflets on the streets dressed like a french fry. The kind of job someone could kill to don't have one. Yet, I found more than a job. I found feelings. I fell in love with a
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, fiction, novella
A quick read, which had me laughing out loud at least twice. The authors talent is in his accurate descriptions of people - sometimes funny, sometimes sad. It was just too short, and once you've listened to him it's difficult to go back to reading.

My favorite is still definitely Calypso, I can't recommend the audio highly enough.
Dec 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Really this book is a 2.5, but I'm feeling generous (it's Christmas!) so rounding up - Maybe 20% was funny, 50% was mean-spirited and 15% was interesting and 15% boring...

You can see the satirical voice Sedaris is aiming for, but for me it just wasn't quite clever enough, or witty enough, to pull of the rather mean things he says. The first story about being an elf is Macy's was perhaps the best, most sardonic and darkly humorous. It did have me laughing aloud a few times on the train. There we

I couldn't any more ignore a highly positive feedback from many readers about David Sedaris's comedy skills. And Christmas from a different perspective? That sounded interesting!

Unfortunately, in regard to this book, my high expectations were not totally met.

There were for sure some really funny observations, comments and thoughts, but on the whole I found the humour in this collection out of non-fiction stories rather monotonous than sparking-refreshing.

I hope, I'll have more luck with my next
Feb 24, 2009 added it
Shelves: humor
The audio version (heard it first on NPR) read by Sedaris is unforgettably funny! The text version will make you laugh out loud and cause people to stare at you, but it is nothing compared to hearing Sedaris tell the story. Text alone would get 3 or 4 stars, but the audio get s 7 stars on a 5 star scale.
Justin Walshaw
Dec 14, 2018 rated it liked it
The good people at Little, Brown and Company did you a solid by also releasing this exact same book as 'Holidays on Ice' which is awesome if you need two copies of the same book but with a different title, which is really what Christmas is all about. ...more
Jan 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 52-books
Interesting, two books in one week. Who THOUGHT SO!

Now, I only read this because exams week is coming! Prepare for exams by reading irrelevant books. Yes, This is how I do it.

Now, let's review this good laugh.

I didn't enjoy it that much, but it's surely a good laugh before exams.

Christmas, only saw it in movie. Surely I've read about Christmas, what it is. The fact that people wait in line for more than one hour to JUST see A NOT real Santa Claus is funny.

Now David will act as an elf in this st
Janet | purrfectpages
This is the first David Sedaris book I've read, but I plan to read more. It was my brand of holiday spirit, I just wish it was a bit longer. ...more
Pee-your-pants funny!!! This is a perfect read out-loud book...adults only!
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Honestly, this guy either has a super weird imagination or he has had some weird stuff happen to him
May 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this. I did like the first tale, the Christmas Whore tale and the final little bit, but everything else was just too, too much, especially the letter and the one-upmanship story.

The Christmas Family update letter was just awful. I know what Sedaris was going for. We have friends who send those obnoxious letters and include a heavily airbrushed studio portrait. Those of us that are close to them know the "real story". How close they got to divorce, the teen pregnancy scare
Andy Moss
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
Very much front loaded so the first piece was very good and then went down hill for the others. A lot of his output is pretty mean spirited and aimed at slightly undeserving targets (Cristmas Nativity plays by 10 years old aren't that good? Really, tell me more). Although some of the framing devices are good, I felt if you took them away there wasn't that much left, and in particular nothing insightful. So, boo hiss for me. ...more
Manik Sukoco
Dec 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Most hilarious Christmas tales around. You will never look at Christmas the same after exploring Sedaris's amazingly funny but somewhat dark world. I am amazed at Sedaris's guts to write down a lot of things that most of us would rather to keep to ourselves and that makes me realize what a hypocrite I am. You all must simply have this! ...more
Dec 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic read, and perfect to read at this time of year when it's the season of love and joy and giving and Sedaris reminds you just how much of a shower of bastards the common person (especially parents) can be at Christmas in retail.

Full of laugh out loud moments and beautiful insights, with the only problem being I wanted it to be twice - if not, three times - longer.
Harry Maier
Dec 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Risible and sardonic as ever, Sedaris offers an irreverent but ultimately forgiving view onto the Christmas and the innumerable hypocrisies that make the season simultaneously heart-warming and cringe-worthy.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014, ebook
Meh! Not really exciting, or funny for that matter.

I liked the first two stories, and had a great time reading them. They were actually funny. The of them, not so much.

I'm guessing David Sedaris's humour has some moments that are just not for me.
Magda linga
Jul 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very entertaining stories that make you lose your faith in humanity, should you have any left. Dark and dry humor at its best.
Also, as your vanilla overeducated, underpaid and generally confused millennial I must say - it makes me feel so much better about my life that he worked as an elf at 33.
Dec 13, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 this was some funny shit
Eleanor Thom
Mar 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
delightful, insightful, hopeful about people and joyously detailed
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
'A humorist who puts the grin in chagrin'. ...more
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've tried to read this short story before, when I wasn't familiar with David Sedaris. I couldn't picture him in my head, I couldn't hear his voice, I didn't know what to make of him so I left it.

Now, after reading some of his other books and listening to him being incredibly funny, warm and self-deprecating (and singing jingles in the style of Billie Holliday) - it was time to revisit this. Or, read it because it popped up on my Kindle and I'd forgotten I had it.

Written in 1997, this is the sho
Camila Silva
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
He made me laugh whit this.

To be an Elf is funny but definitely it isn't an easy job, follow many rules and deal with people christmas spirit could be hard.
M. Donner
Apr 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The SantaLand Diaries is a gloomy anti-holiday tale for the rest of us gloomsters to get in the holiday spirit.

The first time I heard the SantaLand Diaries was in an audio recording, read by real-man-Charlie-Brown himself, David Sedaris. This took place in a highly conservative high school, mind you. The reception was hilarious. The exchanged glances: terrified.

That being said, I highly recommended The SantaLand Diaries in audio format, read by the author. If you have troubles navigating the "
Frances Sawaya
Nov 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
My introduction to Sedaris was via my great friend, Craig. At the time the author was reading the SantaLand Diaries on NPR; we would listen on our respective drives home from AULA and then rehash all the crazy stories and images the next day, sometimes laughing so hard that tears rolled down our cheeks. The book (a slim one) was funny in its way but could not really equal Sedaris's dry humour on air. As we approach Christmas, I really suggest you get a copy of the tapes from NPR archives, failin ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
"It makes one's mouth hurt to speak with such forced merriment. I feel cornered when someone talks to me this way. Doesn't everyone?" - David Sedaris, Santaland Diaries

I enjoyed this little book very much! As far as short stories go this one did a pretty good job of drawing you into the story and keeping you entertained. Mr Sedaris's keen observation of the daily life with his frank and unconventional style has made this book fun and compelling. 4 starts because it was too short.
Sep 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This audio book is probably the only Christmas tradition I hold to besides Linda and I taking our fake Christmas photos with themes like "Cats as baby Jesus Nativity scene" "Creepy Elves" and "Fiberglass Jesus and Beenie Babies", I mention these because this audio book (and the book is best that way) is the PERFECT background to that sort of activity. ...more
Jeff Mauch
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Tis the season, so why not read a short essay on David Sedaris's experiences being an elf in SantaLand one Christmas. I really enjoy David Sedaris, but you can tell this is one of his earlier writings and that he may be trying just a bit to hard to be funny. It won't blow you away, but it definitely shows promise in his writing ability that we see in his later works. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
2015 Reading Chal...: Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris 1 19 Aug 24, 2015 11:03AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Possible Side Effects
  • I Like You: Hospitality Under the Influence
  • Magical Thinking: True Stories
  • Dry
  • Running with Scissors
  • Take the Cannoli
  • Sellevision
  • You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas
  • Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems
  • Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's
  • Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong
  • We Thought You Would Be Prettier: True Tales of the Dorkiest Girl Alive
  • Battersea Parker
  • I Am Not Myself These Days
  • Naked by David Sedaris Summary & Study Guide
  • Comedian Gone Wrong
  • Double Trouble
  • Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? and Other Imponderables: Mysteries of Everyday Life Explained
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

  Jenny Lawson is the funniest person you know. And if you don’t know her, just read one of her books and she becomes the funniest person you...
88 likes · 17 comments
“The woman in charge of costuming assigned us our outfits and gave us a lecture on keeping things clean. She held up a calendar and said, "Ladies, you know what this is. Use it. I have scraped enough blood out from the crotches of elf knickers to last me the rest of my life. And don't tell me, 'I don't wear underpants, I'm a dancer.' You're not a dancer. If you were a real dancer you wouldn't be here. You're an elf and you're going to wear panties like an elf.” 21 likes
“She was at a cash register, screaming at a customer. She was, in fact, calling this customer a bitch. I touched her arm and said, “I have to go now.” She laid her hand on my shoulder, squeezed it gently, and continued her conversation, saying, “Don’t tell the store president I called you a bitch. Tell him I called you a fucking bitch, because that’s exactly what you are. Now get out of my sight before I do something we both regret.” 15 likes
More quotes…