Food & Drink

Why I love something you hate: SantaCon

[Editor's Note: We understand that there’s a solid chance you hate SantaCon -- trust us, we’ve been on the wrong end of a roving pack of "ho"-ing Santas plenty of times, and there’s been more backlash than ever this year about the event, so much so that they’ve lawyered up. Still, that doesn’t mean there aren't a ton of people who actually love it, otherwise it wouldn’t exist. So, in our ongoing quest to understand the crazy, cultish mess that is SantaCon, we found someone to tell us exactly why he loves something you probably hate.]

For those of you who somehow don’t know, SantaCon is a yearly bar crawl in which a bunch of people throughout the country dress up like Santa Claus, or in the general Holiday spectrum, and then stumble from bar to bar. As it’s grown in popularity, so has the immense hatred for it. People hate SantaCon, I mean they really, really loathe it. This year especially, I’ve noticed that the New York press and general public seem to be bashing it more than usual. Maybe it's because of the jerks messing up the streets, or the six-Santa brawls, or the dudes getting HJs at Duane Reade. Whatever it is, I think everyone is losing sight of the fact that there are some really fun, non-HJ aspects to SantaCon. I, for one, still love it. Here's why:

EVERYONE will be there

The craziest thing about this city is that you can live about a mile from one of your closest friends and yet you might only see each other, like, twice a year. That’s just how it goes. SantaCon, like some sort of magical high school/college/work/previous-SantaCon reunion genie, somehow gets everyone I know in the same place at the same time.

It's got its own, however seemingly insane, community

For one day a year, a bunch of New Yorkers who might not otherwise have anything to do with one another are all out with each other, having a good time. Sure, it’s a community that towards the end of the long day of bar crawling tends to devolve a bit, but it’s a community, nonetheless, so shut up.

Santacon NYC
Jeremy Glass

Drinking peppermint schnapps, followed by a squirt of chocolate syrup, while wearing an elf outfit makes me smile on the inside and outside.


You will lose track of everyone you're with, and it won't matter

The second you all go out is the second that you all separate. And all of a sudden, you can’t find your friend, and your phone is dead, and EVERYONE IS DRESSED EXACTLY THE SAME. The chances of all of you staying together for the rest of the day is zero-10% and that’s okay. Because the same thing is happening to everyone else, and they need new friends, too.

No one half-asses SantaCon

It’s awesome to see a bunch of people really give themselves over to an event from head to toe to liver. Everyone is in this together looking ridiculous and everyone is giving it their all -- people don't just buy a Santa hat and call it a day, they rent a freaking sled and ride a god damn reindeer.

SantaCon is to day drinking what New Year's Eve is to night drinking

I mean, call me old-fashioned, but I like to start drinking early. It’s just a fun way to spend a weekend day through and through. SantaCon calling for people to start going as early as 10am seems about right.

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Stuart McWhirter is a writer living and breathing in Brooklyn. He truly believes that drinking in Santa outfits is a perfectly fine way to spend a Saturday. If you really want to, you can follow him on Twitter and Instagram.