Sunday, December 13, 2009


In San Francisco, Christmas is very much like Halloween; it’s an excuse to party and to indulge in varying levels of weirdness. Decorations are put up, parties are thrown, people hand out candy, and people dress up in costumes and run around the city in them. San Franciscans love pushing the envelope.
I was eating a vanilla éclair at Thorough Bread (if you haven’t yet been to this bakery, hurry up and go, before they take down the life-size Christmas tree that’s made entirely of bread) on Church St. the other day when I saw a group of Santas pass by the window. Ten minutes later and another group of Santas- this one all women and conveying more of a naughty Santa them- sauntered by. Later, I saw another Santa gang at Burger Meister (and keeping with the Christmas spirit, they let me pose with them for a picture), and throngs of Santas parading through the sidewalks, yelling “Merry Christmas!” and swaggering as if they were half in the bag (they probably were).
I finally asked a fishnet wearing Santa’s helper, “Why all the Santas?”
“Santarchy,” she replied. Of course. Makes perfect sense. This was San Francisco, after all.
“No force on Earth can stop one hundred Santas!” is the official slogan on the Santarchy (also known as “Santacon”) website. And it turns out that there are cities out there that are just as crazy as San Francisco when it comes to Christmas: over three dozen cities were listed as Santarchy hosts worldwide.
So, what is Santarchy exactly? It’s pretty simple- just a mob of Santas, creating some light Christmas mayhem, including mock Santa assassinations, snowball fights, bar hopping, and singing Christmas carols in a pitch no one wants to hear. The date for the event is listed on the website and anyone wanting to their city to be involved simply needs to plan on donning a Santa outfit and let the web coordinators know.
Santarchy seemed like a lot of fun. My only regret was no having heard about the event- or else I would have gladly paraded about in a Santa outfit myself. for more info

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