Taking A Funny (and dark) Break From Holiday Music

David Sedaris Santaland DairiesWith Thanksgiving coming so early this year, we’re in our fourth week of Christmas carols at the office. The perfect time to take a break and enjoy a GrayMatter holiday tradition — the annual playing of David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries.

First read on NPR’s Morning Edition in 1992, the essay offers a wickedly funny account of the author’s experience working as a Christmas elf at Macy’s department store in New York City. If you’ve never heard (or read) it, be warned, this is about as far from Clement C. Moore’s ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas as it gets. It’s closer to Bad Santa than the claymation classic Santa Claus is Coming to Town. But honestly, with the holiday rush reaching fever pitch in these final days, aren’t we all ready for a few laughs?

Just when we’re certain that hearing George Michael’s Last Christmas one more time is going to send us into into hyperglycemic shock, Sedaris’ Crumpet the Elf rescues us. From singing Away In A Manger in character as Billy Holiday, to telling a young child “if he didn’t behave himself that Santa was going to take away his TV and all his electrical appliances and leave him in the dark”, our anti-hero has a way of bringing a smile to everyone in the office.