David Sedaris Reads 'Santaland Diaries,' An NPR Tradition In Santaland Diaries, humorist David Sedaris describes his time working as a department store elf named Crumpet. Here, Sedaris again reads as Crumpet — an NPR holiday tradition.

It Must Be Christmastime. David Sedaris Reads 'Santaland Diaries'

It Must Be Christmastime. David Sedaris Reads 'Santaland Diaries'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/946791582/949926236" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
azndc/Getty Images
A toy elf near little trees
azndc/Getty Images

Think you're stressed out during the holidays? Try being one of Santa's little helpers.

Way before social distancing was a thing, writer and humorist David Sedaris worked as a department store elf. And it turns out, being surrounded by tinsel and merriment isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Sedaris wrote about the downside of joy in Santaland Diaries, a collection of stories based on his experiences. In 1992, Sedaris — then a struggling writer -- read from Santaland Diaries on Morning Edition — and it's been a holiday tradition ever since.

Click the play button to hear Sedaris read as Crumpet the elf.

Barry Gordemer produced the audio story.