It’s official: SantaCon remains my favorite Seattle spectator sport three years running. My first SantaCon set the bar relatively high for the rest of them, losing a member of our party at only our second stop and waking up with a fireball tattoo on my wrist and a Virgin Mary candle in my purse.
This year was my third year as a “participant,” though I never actually fully dress up as anything Christmas themed. I prefer to don the leopard print Santa hat that I’ve gotten more use out of over the past three years than I would have expected. That way it is understood that I’m part of the fun. I’ve acknowledged I’m “one of them,” but to the average passerby I’m one of the more normal of the bunch.
Each year, I do the walk of shame to the first bar sporting my edgy Santa hat. It makes me feel out of place, people staring at me like I’ve lost my marbles. I don’t blame them either. As a general rule I find someone who wears a Santa hat around recreationally to be untrustworthy.
I walk with a purpose, not making direct eye contact, but looking for my people who will be decked out in Santa attire and roaming the streets as if it’s the most normal thing in the world.
There are always new costumes. I usually wake up with some strange shit in my bag mostly compliments of a friend of mine who enjoys shoving random bar memorabilia in it when I’m not looking.
So this year when she came from the bar dressed as Mrs. Claus, throwing a broken plaster arm on the table and saying, “Quick put this in your bag,” I can’t say that I was surprised.
I inquired as to where one would find a broken plaster arm in a bar, and asked if she needed to go apologize for breaking shit.
“I didn’t break it, someone had knocked a hula girl over and she is in pieces on the ground. I just kind of kicked the arm over towards me and picked it up. I thought it would be a good addition for your house to go with the Virgin Mary candle.”
I don’t know that I should take it as a compliment that someone saw a severed arm and thought of me, but it turned out to be the best prop for all of our photo ops that night.
Thinking man with the baby arm up the sleeve. Warming the baby hand by the fire. Drinking with the baby hand. Knocking dominos over with the severed arm. The possibilities really were endless and the joke did not get old.
At the last bar, I realized some rando who came over to talk to us kept looking at my bag. I glanced down, wondering what was so weird, and sitting next to me in my open bag was the arm of a dismembered hula girl, reaching out of my handbag as if trying to escape.
I almost tried to explain it, but figured the story was too long, so owned the moment and just looked at him with a very serious face that said, “Don’t ask me about this severed doll hand,” and put it back in my back and zipped it up. I wasn’t out to make friends anyways.
I go to SantaCon to see the costumes. While it’s surreal to be surrounded by a sea of red fat suits and white beards (also making it quite difficult to find your friends, I might add), there are always people that think outside of the box with their Christmas themed costume.
This year we had several gingerbread men, someone dressed as Cindy Lou Who, and a ton of cowboy Santas.
I was going to call it an early night but ended up crossing paths with three different groups of friends, so ultimately it ended up being my most productive SantaCon socially, which I consider a win since I tend to struggle to fit everyone in my schedule.
Moving away from Seattle is a frequent thought on my mind as of late, but the magic of SantaCon always makes me nostalgic and realize that I won’t be able to leave without missing certain ties that I have to the city–as weird as they all might be.