I was in New York City this weekend, and it changed my world. However, my epiphany was not because of the City itself, it was because of Santa Clause. On Saturday night I went out to get some food and a drink, and as I was walking around I noticed a group of people all dressed in Santa outfits. I didn't think much of it at first, but I found out later that they were part of something incredible, something spectacular, something called Santacon.
This yearly "convention" happens in cities all over the world, from Boston to Belfast to Beijing. Essentially, a large group of otherwise unaffiliated people get dressed up as St. Nick, and stumble around whatever city they happen to be in, to spread good cheer and drink good beer. Santa's are encouraged to bring gifts for children they see as they migrate from bar to bar and, in New York this year, participants were asked to bring a canned food item to donate.
The Rules and Guidelines of the convention are all hilarious, and as I read them, I felt pretty certain that each year one or all of them gets broken. My favorites: "Don't be 'that' Santa" and "Santa does not get arrested."
Those of you who are more culturally savvy than I am might have known about Santacon for years, but if not, Santacons are still happening over the next week, so check to see if and when the joy is being spread in your city. According to the site, I missed the DC Santacon by a week, but it's already on my calendar for next year.
So it turns out that Santa really does exist, and even he enjoys a pint every now and then.