Sigh. It’s that time of year again. The extra special holiday time when some people dress up in Santa costumes and frolic through the streets spreading holly-jollies and wreaking havoc, a/k/a, Santacon, “a non-denominational, non-commercial, non-political and non-sensical Santa Claus convention that occurs once a year for absolutely no reason.” Whee. If you are not planning to join in the fun, be prepared to be fully annoyed when you meet with the inevitable pile of Santa debris tomorrow.
But annoyance is so last year! We’ve enlisted the help of East Village blogger EV Grieve, who’s weathered many a Santacon, for his tips for coping. “My advice would be to start drinking heavily now and sleep through tomorrow in a boozy stupor and catch up on the Three Colors trilogy you bought during your Kieślowski phase,” he says.
Here are some things you should know about SantaCon:
How to be a good Santa:
- Don’t be THAT Santa.
- Fill your Metrocard. You will need one with at least 4 rides on it.
- Obey the law. Even open container laws. Even traffic laws.
- Pace yourself. Santa is jolly, not sloppy.
- Tip your bartenders or rot in Santa’s douchebag hell for all eternity.
- Bring cash. Bar stops are too crowded to run a tab.
- Break in your boots. When the sleigh breaks down, Santa walks. A lot.
- Donate food. Bring at least two non-perishable items to the start point.
Some tips for your Santa management: Grieve says, “I’d suggest following SantaCon on Twitter or their website. Wherever they are, plan to be on the other side of the city at the same time.”
He continues, “You could vow to start your Saturday early, like 8 a.m. at the Blarney Cove. But too many Santas have the same idea to frontload. This is not good. They are too jovial for 8 a.m.”
However, “The real problem comes at nightfall, when the ‘official’ Santacon festivities are over, and the Santas splinter off into small groups, looking to keep drinking. This is not pretty. This is when they all start looking and acting like Dan Aykroyd as Santa in Trading Places. I’ve tried everything at this stage of the Santaconning. Be as LOUD and WooWooing as them! But, somehow, even in this state, they can sense someone being disingenuous. I’ve tried being rude, sarcastic, nice, passive-aggressive, accommodating, helpful. Nothing. I’ve tried suggesting that they go to another bar. ‘McSorley’s is great. It’s on Seventh Street and Avenue D.’ But then I feel guilty. Ultimately, you should probably just stay in.”
But if you do that, doesn’t it mean the Santas have won? Send us your Santacon stories of joy and woe tomorrow! We care. Ho ho ho.
In other festive news, the Tompkins Square Park tree lighting will happen on Sunday.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 9, 2011