So, since I gave my husband the ole holiday decorating guilt trip, I thought it only fair to post about our holiday tradition before moving on to the book review. When I told him that I was going to post holiday pictures and his wouldn’t be included if he didn’t finish his decorating, he hopped into high gear and started finishing his work.
So what is the tradition? A few years ago, I decided to start a Christmas village. I really really wanted Scott to take an interest and get involved in the new tradition, so I dragged him to the holiday store on the coldest day of the year (when we were living in Lubbock). I showed him the village I wanted, the New England series, and he took one look at it, and said, “sure…I’ll take an interest. I’ll start my own village and we can compete.” Yup, thanks Scott for the support. So, thus began our tradition of competing villages. While both villages are Department 56, mine is New England and his is Christmas in the City (Scott’s picture is on top–his village still isn’t complete; My village is on bottom–complete. Both villages butt right up against each other).
I’ve never read anything by Sedaris before, so I was really excited to get my hands on Holidays on Ice. This book was a great break from all of the challenge reading I’ve been doing lately and will be doing for the rest of the year. Plus, because my reading time has been cut the past few weeks, the short stories (at least in the second part of the book) were perfect for stealing away for a few minutes to read.
Holidays on Ice contains 12 different stories about, um, the holidays–mostly Christmas but a few Halloween as well. Sedaris’s humor is just how I like it–sharp and dark. The stories, particularly “SantaLand Diaries,” “Jesus Shaves,” “Us and Them,” and “Let it Snow,” made me laugh out loud and even sometimes gasp in shock. Sedaris certainly doesn’t hold anything back in his humor (there is a little bit of off-color and language, but I didn’t find it overwhelming).
Other than the fact that these stories all provide social commentary on how we silly people act and react during the holidays, the stories are varied–even ranging from personal accounts and essays to more fictionalized stories. I preferred the personal stories and actually could have done without some of the others (“Based on a True Story” and “Christmas Means Giving”). Each story, though, makes us take a look at how we are celebrating the holidays.
I would recommend this little book with a little bit of reservation. This isn’t your normal feel-good Christmas book. But it will make you laugh, and it will make you think, and if nothing else it will get you a little closer to the Christmas spirit. Thanks Miriam and Hachette Books for the great laughs.