Santa Clauses are coming to town. Yes, Clauses.
SantaCon, a free annual holiday pub crawl, takes place Dec. 13. One of the big rules for participants is that they must dress up - and a simple Santa hat wont' cut it. This is essential to spread Christmas cheer, get reduced-price drinks and free admission.
There will also be a toy drive component this year, with every Santa being asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy valued at about $10 to go to Toys for Tots.
Along with the jolly old elf himself, regular elves, snowmen, reindeer and other Christmas characters are all welcome, and pub crawlers are encouraged to get creative. Following are some guidelines from the Savannah SantaCon Facebook page:
1. Santa does not make children cry. Really, if you see kids, don't do anything to freak them out. Give them a nice smile and possibly a gift of some kind (toys, candy etc). Parents and tourists are a different matter altogether - adjust your behavior based on their attitude.
2. Santa dresses for all occasions. It's December. Smart Santas wear multiple costume layers. Dress to maximize merriment, whether singing Christmas carols in the snow or swinging from a stripper pole in a hot nightclub.
3. Santa doesn't whine! We will be outside a lot and commuting mainly on foot - bring enough "snacks" to keep your pie-hole filled until we get indoors.
4. Bring gifts: NAUGHTY gifts to give grown ups; NICE stuff to give kids. Throwing coal at people is discouraged no matter who they are. YES THAT INCLUDES POLITICIANS. But giving out coal might actually be appreciated.
5. Watching Santa get drunk and rowdy is fun. Babysitting Santa while he vomits in an alley is not. Don't be that Santa.
6. Make sure you always pay for your beer and tip the bar staff. We want to be able to do this again, so be polite and cultivate the goodwill of the local community.
7. Please pay for your drinks as soon as you get them. Santas get tired of waiting on other santas to clear their tab before being able to move on. This entire adventure should be cash-only.
8. "No Santas left behind!" Don't think only of yourself - Santa is not inconsiderate of his fellow Santas like that. Pick a few people you know and keep an eye out for them when it's time to move to the next location. If you don't see them, speak up so other Santas know to wait a moment. Every Santa should have at least two to three other Santas they look out for and two to three that look out for them in turn.
9. Stay with the group. It's not just a case of "the more, the merrier" - Santa is safer with large numbers of fellow Santas, and what one Santa can't achieve (or get away with) is a possibility for 50 or more!
10. Dress up! You don't have to dress exactly like Santa. In fact, unusual interpretations of Santa-ness are much appreciated, both by those we bring joy to as well as your fellow Santas; elves, reindeer themes etc. are fine as well!
11. Please remember that this is all about having fun. Most Santas like to take their fun with a little alcohol, which is fine. What is not fine, however, is getting completely sh!t-faced to the point that Santas end up being abusive or violent. Remember that there is no "bail fund" for incarcerated Santas and if you cross the line, you'll be on your own.
12. Santa doesn't drink and drive and neither should you. If you're going to drink, you must make sure that you can get safely home without driving yourself. Check public transport, carpool with a designated sober driver, make arrangements to sleep over at someone's place, etc.
13. You MUST address everyone as "Santa."
14. You SHOULD "ho-ho-ho" like Santa.
15. You OUGHT to give out gifts like Santa.
16. You MIGHT want to drink like Santa.
17. If you have reached this rule, it means you didn't get locked into a loop reading the guidelines over and over again as per the previous rule. You are therefore intelligent enough to take part in SantaCon!
18. Have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!