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Holidays on Ice: Stories
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Holidays on Ice: Stories

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  91,596 Ratings  ·  4,549 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
Audio, 0 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Little, Brown & Company (first published December 1997)
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Mme LionHead This book isn't quite my cup of tea but the writing style reminds me of some of Rick Mercer's books. However, the books I've read by Mercer were…moreThis book isn't quite my cup of tea but the writing style reminds me of some of Rick Mercer's books. However, the books I've read by Mercer were political satire, not sure if that would interest you.(less)
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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 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
Jason Koivu
Jun 02, 2009 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 Sedaris is riffing on real life in his autobio journal work, the man is on fire!

David 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. B
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
Jul 05, 2010 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
Mar 10, 2011 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 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
Dec 15, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Dec 11, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Shannon 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.
Rebecca Renner
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
"SantaLand Diaries" is my favorite Sedaris story, bar none. And it's perfect for this time of year! Ah, refreshing cynicism.
Sep 16, 2011 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
Book Riot Community
From cynical mall elves to the most terrible holiday letter, this holiday-themed short story collection shows David Sedaris at his wackiest–but don’t sorry, it’s still dark and sarcastic, too. One of my favorite ways to get into the holiday spirit, sans the warm-and-fuzzies.

–Emily Wenstrom

from The Best Books We Read In December 2016:
Monica **can't read fast enough**
I always enjoy David Sedaris and this was a fun and entertaining listen. I enjoy reading Sedaris' books, but listening to him makes it so much better.
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
Nov 01, 2013 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.
You will never look at visiting Santa the same way. The other stories were a bit hit and miss. I did enjoy the review of the children's plays though.
Nov 20, 2007 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
DNF @57%

I love David Sedaris but I was disappointed overall with this novel because it was not what I expected. I thought the entirety of the novel would be whimsical autobiographical short stories but in the end it was a mix of true stories and fictional short stories.

I checked this out from the library and decided to read one short story leading up to Christmas and yet I had no deserve to continue it once I finished this ridiculous and sad story. Overall I guarantee you that everyone else will
Jen B
Dec 03, 2008 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
Jan 18, 2010 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
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.50. I actually laugh aloud (or snicker to myself) while I read his material, which is rare. These essays were much longer than the ones I had read in Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls but no less enjoyable. Also, this book was Christmas themed, so I got to have a bit of Christmas in the early throes of August. Though, let's be real, Christmas is coming so time to start your shopping now. Sedaris is full of sarcasm, cynicism, and wit, which is what I appreciate the most. He makes fun of things c ...more
Dec 01, 2014 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.
Dec 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a re-listen for the holidays. santaland diaries is just... so good.
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
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
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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...
“If I could believe in myself, why not give other improbabilities the benefit of the doubt?” 1135 likes
“All of us take pride and pleasure in the fact that we are unique, but I'm afraid that when all is said and done the police are right: it all comes down to fingerprints.” 361 likes
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