About a week ago, my friend Monique Leahy, the legal wizard who authors books for legal and medical practitioners, told me about SantaCon. She said she and friends had watched the SantaCon craziness from a restaurant last year, as revelers dressed in Santa Claus costumes (with an occasional elf and reindeer thrown in the mix) streamed past the window.
I forgot about that conversation until last Saturday as my husband and I were driving in Midtown Manhattan and found ourselves in a sea of Santas, clearly into about the fourth or fifth hour of a pub crawl. It appeared to be fueled by a good deal of alcohol but we didn't see any rowdiness or outrageous behavior. Funny thing to look into the windows of a bar and see it filled with hundreds of Santas hoisting a beer.
I'm told by one source that the SantaCon tradition, which is now global (!) started in Copenhagen decades ago. Not sure if that is true, but New York has adopted the tradition with enthusiasm.
It struck me as unusual that the shenanigans take place in daytime. No sporting event involved, unless you include the classic ritual of elbow-bending at a bar a sport. Someone decided it makes good sense to begin drinking at 10 AM in the morning, in a Santa Claus costume, no less, and others have followed along.
Well, there are lots of ways to display the Christmas spirit. Except that in this case, we're talking spirits.