• Holidays on Ice

  • Featuring Six New Stories
  • By: David Sedaris
  • Narrated by: David Sedaris
  • Length: 4 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (3,591 ratings)

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Holidays on Ice  By  cover art

Holidays on Ice

By: David Sedaris
Narrated by: David Sedaris
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Publisher's Summary

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).

©2008 David Sedaris (P)2008 David Sedaris

Editorial Review

You didn’t think I was going to be *all* doom and gloom, did you?? Last night I picked up a bottle of brandy from the corner wine store, poured it with a splash of eggnog into my Fishs Eddy Turnt tumbler, and settled in for an evening of wrapping gifts and listening to David Sedaris’s Santaland Diaries from Holidays on Ice. His hilarious account of working as a department store elf is an absolute classic (shenanigans, obviously, ensue), and I hope you’ll love it as much as I do. —Rachel S., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Holidays on Ice

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Best When In SantaLand

If you're not ready for Department Store Christmas Carolers or Mall Santas, plug Holidays On Ice into your ears. Sedaris generally does an excellent job of pointing toward the madness of the holidays, without feeling like a Grinch.

The opening story "The SantaLand Diaries" is about Sedaris working in a Department Store as an elf, and if you've ever experienced a certain frustration (along with Charlie Brown) about the commercialization of Christmas, or Christmas being pushed on you, this story is a can't miss.

The rest of the stories weren't nearly as much fun for me. "Seasons Greetings" and "Christmas Means Giving" in particular ended felt overly mean and cruel.

That said, others, like "Dinah, The Christmas Whore," and "Six to Eight Black Men" were genuinely amusing. I wouldn't call "Monster Mash" fun, but it was incredibly well written.

(There are more stories in this edition than in the previous version. Personally, I think the additional stories are welcome.)

I suspect, like "A Christmas Carol," I'll make listening to "The SantaLand Diaries" and some of the stories an annual tradition.

70 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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OH LITTLE ELF, OH LITTLE ELF

I'M GOING TO HAVE YOU FIRED!!
Santaland Diaries is one of the funniest holiday routines ever. I like my comedy dry, so keep that in mind. This used to play every year on NPR on Christmas Eve, so they approved. If you don't like your comedy dark, you may not like this and especially the rest of the stories which get very dark. If your from JASPER'S BREATH, KENTUCKY, collect PRE-COLUMBIAN SOFA BEDS, or eat a lot of INDUSTRIAL STRENGTH LASAGNA you might want to skip this. I also loved 6 to 8 Black Men, Let it Snow, Us and Them and Christmas Means Giving.

49 people found this helpful

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Add a touch of Bitter to your Holiday Sweet

What a tradition-- right up there with "It's a Wonderful Life," "A Christmas Carol," and "Christmas Vacation".
Many Christmas stories are sugar sweet, but, if you like a little spice with your sweet, include David Sedaris in your yearly holiday experience. "The Christmas Elf' is one of the funniest, most irreverent, and most memorable of listens.
Sedaris may not be for everyone, but if you sometimes appreciate the cynical side of holiday cheer, try this.
And do it for his absolutely unique, creakie little voice!

47 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A refresher before meeting the author

I had tickets to see David Sedaris and I was brushing up on some of his older books to refresh my memory beforehand. As always, a delightful listen. I've read all of his books, but I much prefer listening to him read them. The very best part of this book is that he sings in the voice of Billie Holiday. It's one thing to read the story and the words say, I sang a commercial jingle in the voice of Billie Holiday. It's a whole other thing to actually hear him sing a jingle like Billie Holiday. Brilliant!!!

I'm a huge fan of David Sedaris and would recommend all of his books. And if you have a chance to see him perform, even better. Not only is he funny, he's also very nice. When he signs your book, he looks directly at you and asks you questions, then writes something personal just for you. When I saw him recently, he stayed and signed books until one in the morning. He looked exhausted, but he was gracious and engaging.

39 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Funny stories

The stories are funny but some a bit cruel which makes it a little hard to listen to - but if you like Sedaris, it's VERY Sedaris.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Santaland story is best, the rest-meh.

I love David's storytelling and voice. However, after the Santaland story, the rest of this was not up to par. The Christmas letter story was downright painful to listen to-just too harsh. A live performance that was recorded was good. All in all, not the greatest of his collections, I'm sorry to say.

17 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Hard to listen

I don't enjoy jolly ho-ho Christmas, but still I found these stories mean. And generally I like Sedaris. Eventually I just stopped listening.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Not Funny

I never thought I could get through a David Sedaris book without over-working my abdominals from laughing too hard, but with this book I seem to have achieved that milestone.

This book is seriously not funny. I suspect this may be somewhat related to the fact that it seems to be a commissioned anthology, but it fails to deliver the characteristic irony and that "we've all been there" identification so characteristic of Sedaris' work.

I appreciate the sentiments of an earlier reviewer so I skipped the story about the visitor from Viet Nam - what little I did listen to was, plainly, awful, and not helped by the dramatic efforts of the reader. I had high hopes that the humor contained in rest of the anecdotes and episodes would compensate. But the remaining stories were a bleak disappointment.

I hope this is just a glitch in the road for Sedaris, occasioned by the fact that he was forced to be funny for the holidays, and that his well of life experience and his ability to draw from that bounty have not run dry.


15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointed and put off

I was disappointed by what I listened to and ultimately decided to stop. The first story, about Sedaris working as a department store elf, was mildly diverting, but far too long and not worth it. The second story, read by someone else was a macabre, bitter nasty, brutish, offensive story about a family that has the family's father adult Vietnamese child from the war days visited on them, accompanied by the story's rudely offensive characterizations and observations coupled with an ending too awful to consider. Said to be based on a true story. But even if true, there's no reason to repeat it. The third story is a smarmy, cyncical put-down of Appalachian types by an oh-so-superior media type. I turned it off in the middle or maybe it was just the beginning, but I preferred to hear the blaring horns of a traffic jam than listen to another word of this whiny drivel. I've been amused by Sedaris before, but this plainly isn't suitable for my sensibilities and taste. I wouldn't even give it one star if that was possible. This was just awful.

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Six Not-Quite-New Stories

If you could sum up Holidays on Ice in three words, what would they be?

hilarious, scandalous, worrisome

What did you like best about this story?

David is a great story-teller and is self-deprecating and proud all in one go.

Which scene was your favorite?

Being a Christmas elf.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes.

Any additional comments?

These stories are great, but they are not all new. They have been in other publications.

11 people found this helpful