Chris Rose: Holiday cheer

Running of the Santas (file)
Running of the Santas (file)

You don't need me to tell you that – in the pursuits of drinking, frolicking, feasting and general revelry – New Orleans is among the nation's elite cities.

Between go cups, drive-through daiquiri shops, Stand Up and Get Crunk as a city fight song and, of course, that macdaddy of merry-making – Mardi Gras – and we're talking about our own wing at the Drinking Games Hall of Fame.

Lest there be skeptics still, I offer one final piece of inviolable evidence that we are in a league of our own:

Whereas most American cities, in 2012, have at least one drunk Santa Claus parade organization – and some even have two – I have never heard of any place that has three.

Including New Orleans.

Because we have four. With dozens to hundreds of members each.

And, who knows – there could be more that I don't even know about. I have identified only the major such groups in our area; I guess you could call them the Rexes and Comuses of the Christmas revelry racket.

They are Santacon, Drunken Santas, Krewe of Kringle and The Running of the Santas – which begins Saturday at noon in the Warehouse District.

Perhaps you've encountered one of these groups' annual assemblies in Decembers past; men and women clad in red velvet – or is it velour; I can never remember – aimlessly roaming the city streets in merry mobs, singing lewd Christmas Carols, blocking sidewalks, bum rushing one barroom after another.

It became a popular urban ritual in the late 20th century and is, no doubt, one more sign of the impending Apocalypse.

Throngs of slurring, stumbling and sometimes scantily-clad Santas might not be the image most major cities want to put out for public consumption – or criticism – this time of year.

Some folks don't think this is the appropriate time of year for such hijinks.

But some folks take themselves too seriously.

My personal take on the matter is: T'is the Season, after all. Do what makes you happy.

I'm down with almost anything, as long as it doesn't take the X out of Xmas.