The holiday season is rapidly approaching and this week I have a perfect little book for those of you feeling a tad naughty this year. David Sedaris, a master of satirical comedy, updated his 1997 classic Holidays on Ice this year with the original stories and a few more thrown in for good cheer.

I read the original Holidays on Ice back in 1997 and absolutely laughed the whole way through it. The Santa Land Diaries is by far the strongest story of the lot, which recounts Sedaris’ work as an elf at Macy’s Santa Land. It is hard to keep a straight face reading about the Macy’s elf culture and rules regarding their costumes:

“…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.”

In addition to the humor, Sedaris is full of shock and awe when he shares the lengths parents will go to in order to save a place in line for their child’s moment with Santa:
“I saw a woman unzip her son’s fly, release his penis, and instruct him to pee into a bank of artificial snow. He was a young child, four or five years old, and he did it, he peed.”
My favorite stories remain the original six, with Seasons Greeting to our Family and Friends, Based Upon a True Story, Christmas Means Giving and Dinah, the Christmas Whore being my favorites along with The Santa Land Diaries. I didn’t love the additions, and I am not quite sure if that’s because this is mostly a reread for me. Kind of like when you hear a song for the first time and can’t every really like the cover version as much as the original. Whatever it is, Holidays on Ice┬áremains classic Christmas humor on the edge. And I will warn you; it is not for the faint at heart, nor is it for those who only have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. Holidays on Ice┬áis a bit rough, a bit tough and a lot funny. If you like your egg nog spiked and like your humor gritty, curl up and cool off with Holidays on Ice.

Rating: 4 stars
Pages: 176
Genre: Essays