You may not believe in Santa anymore (sorry, kids), but even if you refuse to indulge in the idea of a fat man shimmying down your non-existent chimney, the jolly guy will be out in full force on December 14th. It’s true, the red velvet-lined debauchery known as SantaCon has returned, and hundreds of Kris Kringles will be taking to the streets of New York City. For newcomers to the cavalcade – there is a naughty and a nice way for Santa to conduct himself. We asked the big man himself how to take part in the jubilee without landing yourself on his ‘naughty’ list.

Costumes
While you can’t go wrong with the classic belted red suit, Santa encourages participants to get creative. Elves and reindeer are all fine and good, but past standouts have included Mr. Freeze (of Batman and Robin fame) and the famed Hanukkah chicken. Like we said, think outside of the box. Just keep it tasteful and somewhat on theme.

Drinking Etiquette
The event is its own breed of bar crawl, but be careful not to get to Blitzen-ed (so to speak). The idea is to have fun, so if you feel yourself sliding down a slippery slope it's probably a good time to hightail it back to the North Pole. Rather than get behind the sleigh-reins – why not call a cab?

Imbibe for a Good Cause
Last year’s event raised $45,000 and 10,000 pounds of food for charity. This year, donate $10 and gain access to extra special parties along the route, secret info about Santa’s location and a badge that shows everyone you’re “HO-ing” for a good cause. All proceeds benefit the NY Food Bank, Figment Arts, World Hoop Day and other local charities along the route. Participating bars will also be donating a percentage of their proceeds.

Make the Kids Merry
At last, a purpose for the bowls full of jelly we gained over Thanksgiving. A hoard of Santas may cause some confusion amongst the little ones, so best bring along small gifts to placate their puzzlement. Ornaments and candy canes are always crowd pleasers, and a few convincing “ho ho ho’s” could really make all the difference. Pro-tip: May as well bring that sack of coal along with you, just in case some of those other Santa’s don’t bring their full jolly.

Mind Your F’s
Santa reminds people to remember the four F's of SantaCon: Don’t f*ck with kids, don’t f*ck with cops, don’t f*ck with bar staff, and don’t f*ck with NYC. (Santa’s words, not ours.)

The location typically isn’t revealed until the day before the event, so check nycsantacon.com and the event’s Twitter page (@santacon) the night before to get the scoop on the 10 a.m. starting point. Also, Santa mentioned he’s still welcoming volunteers, so there’s plenty of time to sign up.