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“Up and down our street the houses were decorated with plywood angels and mangers framed in color bulbs. Over on Coronado someone had lashed speakers to his trees, broadcasting carols over the candy-cane forest he had planted beside his driveway. Our neighbors would rise early and visit the malls, snatching up gift-wrapped Dustbusters and pom-pommed socks used to protect the heads of the golf clubs. Christmas would arrive and we, the people of this country, would gather around identical trees, voicing our pleasure with warm clichés. Turkeys would roast to a hard, shellacked finish. Hams would be crosshatched with x’s and glazed with fruit– and it was fine by me. Were I to receive a riding vacuum cleaner or even a wizened proboscis monkey, it wouldn’t please me half as much as knowing we were the only family in the neighborhood with a prostitute in our kitchen. From this moment on, the phrase “Ho, ho, ho” would take on a whole different meaning; and I, along with the rest of my family, could appreciate it in our clannish way. It suddenly occurred to me. Just like that.” –David Sedaris, Dinah the Christmas Whore

“This evening I was working as a Counter Elf at the Magic Tree when 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. Urine dripped from the branches of artificial trees and puddled on the floor” –David Sedaris, SantaLand Diaries

“Latelyl I am feeling Trollish and have changed my elf nane from Crumpet to Blisters. Blisters – I think it’s cute.” –David Sedaris, SantaLand Diaries

“A spotted child visited Santa, climbed up on his lap, and expressed a wish to recover from chicken pox. Santa leaped up.” –David Sedaris, SantaLand Diaries

“Today a child told Santa Ken that he wanted his dead father back and a complete set of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Everyone wants those Turtles.” –David Sedaris, SantaLand Diaries

“A child came to Santa this morning and his mother said, ‘All right, Jason. Tell Santa what you want. Tell him what you want.’ Jason said, ‘I…want…Prokton and …Gamble to …stop animal testing.’

The mother said, ‘Procter, Jason, that’s Procter and Gamble. And what do they do to animals? Do they torture animals, Jason? Is that what they do?’ Jason said, Yes they torture, He was probably six years old.” –David Sedaris, SantaLand Diaries

“Last Year a woman decided she wanted a picture of her cat sitting on Santa’s lap, so she smuggled it into Macy’s in a duffel bag., The cat sat on Santa’s lap for five seconds before it shot out the door, and it took six elves forty-five minutes before they found it in the kitchen of the employee cafeteria.” –David Sedaris, SantaLand Diaries

“Paparazza on Ice”– photograph by Zach Bommer

“I spent a few hours in the Maze with Puff, a young elf from Brooklyn. We were standing near the Lollipop Forest when we realized that Santa is an anagram of Satan. Father Christmas or the Devil– so close but yet so far. We imagined a SatanLand where visitors would wade through steaming pools of human blood and feces before arriving at the Gates of Hell, where a hideous imp in a signed velvet costume would take them by the hand and lead them toward Satan. Once we thought of it we couldn’t get it out of our minds. Overhearing the customers we would substitute the word Satan for the word Santa.

‘What do you think, Michael? Do you think macy’s has the real Satan?’ ‘Don’t forget to thank Satan for the Baby Alive  he gave you last year.’

‘I love Satan.’

‘Who doesn’t ? Everyone loves Satan.”– David Sedaris, SantaLand Diaries

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