SantaCon: Naughty or nice? (photos)

To some, SantaCon is a merry expression of holiday cheer, and a good way to make friends while getting into the Christmas spirit. To others, it’s the worst kind of flash mob: drunk, garishly costumed people who think they’re way funnier than they actually are.

SantaCon, the event where folks dressed as Santa Claus go on a holiday bar crawl, is a love-it-or-hate-it holiday tradition, with observers strongly divided between “naughty” and “nice.”


Revelers dressed as Santa Claus jump rope during the annual SantaCon event Saturday in New York City. (Allison Joyce/GETTY IMAGES)

Pro: SantaCon donates toys to the needy. The bars that participate do, too.

Con: SantaCon needs to make a video asking participants not to be that guy.”

Pro: There’s some high-fashion SantaConning.

Con: It’s also been called “BroMan Dude-Con,” thanks to the bad behavior that seems to follow in SantaCon’s wake.

Pro: What’s wrong with being a little merry? It’s kind of like going wassailing, except with Bud Light.

Con: Derided as a “bridge-and-tunnel crowd,” one of the ultimate New York insults. “Go back to Hoboken,” says one commenter.

Santarchy, another Santa suit bar crawl, will take place in various other cities throughout December. Still not sure if SantaCon is naughty or nice? Let’s let Krampus decide.


Revelers dressed as Santa Claus drink outside at a bar during the annual SantaCon in New York City. (Allison Joyce/GETTY IMAGES)

Revelers sing near Battery Park. (Allison Joyce/GETTY IMAGES)


Ms. Santa hails a cab. (KENA BETANCUR/REUTERS)

Hundreds of people dressed as Santa Claus fill Trafalgar Square for SantaCon 2011 in central London. (LUKE MACGREGOR/REUTERS)

Breaking from the Santa suit tradition, an elf gets some shots at SantaCon. (Allison Joyce/GETTY IMAGES)

Participants posing at Broad and Wall streets in New York on Saturday. (CARLO ALLEGRI/REUTERS)

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts for the Weekend section and Going Out Guide.

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