Monday, December 10, 2007

Holidays on Ice

Holidays on Ice, by David Sedaris
$8.99 at Amazon.com
ISBN: 0316779237
Has the stress of the season been getting you down? Are you the kind of person who responds to holiday pageantry with a cynical eye-roll and a Bah-Humbug? If so, then Holidays on Ice is most definitely the book for you!
David Sedaris, in case you're not familiar, is the best-selling author of some outstanding memoirs such as Naked and Me Talk Pretty One Day. This is a collection of some of his essays and short stories, all related to Christmas in some way. It's unbelievably funny, and is guaranteed to have you laughing out loud like a mental 
patient.
In Merry Christmas to Our Family and Friends!!!!, David writes a Christmas newsletter from a suburban family which becomes more outrageous with each passing line. It seems the Dunbar family is giving mixed reviews this holiday season. Their father's tour of duty in Vietnam produced a daughter he never knew he had. When Khe Sahn comes to live with her father's family, she hardly speaks a word of english, and arrives dressed like a southeast Asian prostitute. The long-suffering mother, who is also the narrator, becomes exasperated by her new Vietnamese step-daughter and by the rest of her outrageous clan. It's an unforgettable holiday greeting card.
My favorite essay, and probably the most notable in the collection, is an account of Sedaris' time working as an elf in Santaland, where New York City tourists come to see Santa Claus at the Macy's in Herald Square. Anyone who's ever worked in customer service will soon be rolling on the floor laughing as David describes the outrageous antics of the customers who file through his cue to see Santa.  One woman instructs her young son to pee in a corner (of a department store) so they don't lose their place in line. Another sprays Santa in the eyes with hairspray, causing him to wince in pain as he's nearly blinded. 
The unreasonable, mentally unstable, retarded, and self-absorbed all line up like refugees to enter Santa's snowy, fiberglass world.
I've posted on a couple of Sedaris' books before, I truly consider him a genius and a national treasure. This book is short, light, and not too expensive, making it an ideal stocking-stuffer for everyone who's sarcastic and jaded on your list. Don't forget to get one copy for yourself.
This book is too funny to be missed, and no holiday is complete without it.

1 comment:

Meeg said...

Sounds good. I like the sound of the story with the Vietnamese girl. And I remember waiting in line in Santa's village in Macy's.