Santaland is beautiful. It really is. It’s a wonderland with 10,000 twinkling lights and diversions. People enter and walk through a maze, which affords views of mechanical dancing penguins, train sets, spinning bears, and really big candy canes. They walk through a quarter mile of maize and wind up at the magic tree, at which point they brace themselves for Santa.
Above the din of holiday horns-a-beeping, I was delighted to hear this classic Sedaris piece that tells the story of his time working as an elf at Macy’s during Christmas.
Partnered with Sedaris’ take on the holidays was David Rakoff’s essay “Christmas Freud,” about the time he portrayed Sigmund Freud in a department store Christmas window.
In the window, I fantasize about starting an entire Christmas Freud movement. Christmas Freuds everywhere, providing grown-ups and children alike with the greatest gift of all, insight. In department stores across America, people leave display window couches snifflingly and meaningfully whispering, thank you, Christmas Freud, shaking his hand fervently, their holiday angst, if not dispelled, at least brought into starker relief.
So, yes, yes, that was me – driving next to you laughing so much and so hard you probably thought I’d gone mad. But we’re all mad here, aren’t we? Especially this time of year!
Both of these gems were first broadcast in 1996 on NPR’s This American Life. The episode “Christmas and Commerce” featured four acts: “Toys R Us” by Ira Glass, “Santaland Diaries” by David Sedaris, “Christmas Freud” by David Rakoff, and “Act Four” by John Connors.
Do yourself a BIG favor and…
You’re welcome. xoxo