Santacon 2012

New York, NY, USA

Santas in the East Village

A crowd of Santacon participants

New York, NY, USA

"Worst. Halloween. Ever." said my friend J., gloomily eyeing a gaggle of people in red-and-white Santa suits. "You can understand why there's a three-day waiting period and background checks before you're allowed to buy an assault weapon."

Santacon, which began as a relatively intimate little affair involving no more than a hundred Santas (some of whom were friends of mine) seems to have exploded this year. Lower Manhattan was engulfed in a sea of red-and-white, to the point where it seemed that every second person was wearing some kind of approximately Santa-style costume. Some had the complete outfit; some felt that wearing anything red that they owned, or putting on a hat or a set of reindeer antlers hastily purchased at the drugstore, was good enough. I mentally re-christened it "Wear Something Red and Be Drunk in Public Day".

Not everyone wore red. I saw one group of three young men wearing purple and gold pajamas that looked vaguely Middle Eastern: Magi, perhaps? As I passed them, one of them complained "They said I had to go home and change." Evidently Santa runs a tight ship.

J. wasn't the only person to think that there might be just a few too many Santas, but overall people seemed more amused than annoyed by the seasonal invasion. "They love the fat tranny Santa!" said one man delightedly as his posse of assorted Santas charged across the road. Very probably true, although I do think that the pair of Santas having public sex on E 14th St may find themselves on the real Santa's naughty list this year. All in all, it's not entirely a bad thing that Christmas comes but once a year.