I finished my last paper of the semester mid-afternoon on Saturday, bringing my grand total of pages written over the course of this semester close to 160, single spaced of course, meaning that if all those pages had been on the same topic, I basically just wrote a book in four months. I mean, granted, it's a book no one wants to read--heck, I don't even want to read it--but, still, pondering that number of pages makes me feel just the tiniest bit proud. If only quantity and quality were the same thing.
Having emailed my paper to my professor, I gathered my books and left the public library, where I had been sitting on the floor for the last hour or so, having decided that shivering on a cold tile floor was, for some strange reason, more comfortable than sitting at a desk. As I walked towards the library door, I began to think about what I would do with my newfound Christmas break freedom: bake Christmas cookies! Decorate a Christmas tree! Shop for Christmas presents! Dress up like a Christmas gypsy! With schoolwork out of the way, I could finally think about the season.
The first thing I saw when I opened the library door was a guy dressed as Santa Claus. And behind him, a girl dressed as Santa Claus. And behind her, a whole group of people dressed as Santa Claus. As I rounded the corner into downtown, I realized everyone was dressed like Santa Claus: milling around on the main drag of downtown were about, oh, five hundred people dressed as Santa, pouring out of the metro station, flitting in and out of bars, and standing in the middle of the road. It was a Santa invasion, and it felt like the universe had conspired to show me not just a good time, but a wonderful time: the most wonderful time of the year.
I walked up to one of those imitation Santas and asked him what was going on; "SantaCon!" he said, slightly drunkenly and with his mouth full of pizza. I wish I could say that that explained everything for me, as that would imply I'm somewhat hip to counterculture--or pop culture, or flash mob culture, or maybe just culture, period--but of course I had to ask some more questions, learning that this was a group of people, dressed in cheap Santa costumes--including a Hanukkah Santa (all in blue and stars of David and carrying a Menorah), a bikini Santa, and a Santa Claus that was definitely not just kissing Mommy--that was moving across the East Bay, basically getting progressively noisier and drunker. There may have been some lists, and some double-checking of said lists, but I doubt it; this group was mostly into drunken singing, or, at the very least, drunken shouting "Santa loves you!"
I love Santa too, and that was pretty much the best welcome to the Christmas holiday ever, even if I did have to wonder whether the bikini Santa was a man or a woman. (Man. Mostly.) I must have been nice to deserve this sight, and, trust me, there won't be any crying or pouting this year, not from me.