Ho Ho Holyshit… it’s SantaCon, San Francisco

{Highlights included finding Grinch in the midst of 3000 Santas in Union Square}

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…gifts are heading our way, holidays – and festive parties – are on the RSVP horizon, and mistletoe might just be flirting above our heads. I’m a strong fan of Christmas season and all the fun the festive Spotify “Cocktail Christmas” soundtrack brings to the crisp December air.

Now for most people, there’s only one Santa and he’s either occupied in the North Pole revving up a sleigh or on shift at the mall getting photos clicked. In San Francisco however, we believe in the more [Santas] the merrier! Every year as the Christmas Countdown ticks closer to T-20, thousands of revelers dressed as Santa meet in Union Square before commencing through the city in a semi-organized bar-crawl to deck the halls with all things spiked and mulled in booze.

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I’m not particularly tall, so here’s what my camera caught when I raised it above the crowd near Union Square, San Francisco at Santa Con 2017!

Santa Con now happens in various cities around the U.S. (the largest gathering usually happens in NYC) and 44 countries worldwide, but the origins of Santa Con festivities took place one chilly San Franciscan December in 1994 when a local prank group organized “Santarchy” to poke fun at the commercialism of modern Christmas.

The story goes that Santa Con went bicoastal in 1998 when one San Franciscan donned a white beard and a Santa Suit and lead 200 Santas down New York’s 5th Avenue singing carols and delighting passerby’s instantly creating a new tradition — their singing is obviously much more joy-invoking than mine!

This December, Santas came to San Francisco all in shapes and sizes. Outfits ranged from Sexy Santa’s in fishnet stockings to Comfy Santa’s in fuzzy pajama onesies. Sensual Santas stood on the risers near the iconic Union Square hearts playing saxophones while other Ratchet Santa’s jumped out of serpentine lines outside bars to puke in trash cans.

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These Santas know that Aldo (and the bar ahead) are best! ❤ #treatyoself

While the bars were bustling, other Santa Con enthusiasts made the most of the extended Black Friday/Christmas sales to get ahead on their loved ones’ wish lists. Almost all the stores on Powell Street brimmed with great sales and glittery merchandise. Saks Fifth Avenue did not disappoint with their glamorous shop windows, turning many red-hatted heads to their mannequins clad in ’50s classic hairstyles, fur coats, and evening-wear allure. The only unexpected sight in this winter wonderland scape was a Santa Conner “dressed” with nothing but a festive bow around his personal package … but then again would it really be a true day in San Francisco if you didn’t spot at least one person streaking through some unique self-expression?

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Some fun strangers on BART let me take their photo for #nikitalyfe on the way to SF Santa Con! 😀 Shoutout to the lady on the right dressed as a Christmas Tree — it lit up with lights and everything!

Happy Festivities readers! 😀

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We should know by now that the real Nightmare before Christmas is trying to make it through all the holiday shopping without going entirely broke (eeks!)

Author: Nikita Taimni

A Dubai-based blogger, I write about travel, theatre and lifestyle in the cities I explore around the world. Follow me on Instagram @nikitalyfe and follow via email if you enjoy reading my posts!

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