santacon.jpgWell, the 2008 Santacon is already two hours underway, but you may be able to catch up with the crowd. They shouldn’t be hard to spot. This year’s red-and-white inebriated spectacle began at 10 am on 33rd St. between 6th and 7th and will rove around that part of town most of the afternoon. You must be fully costumed to participate.

I first witnessed Santacon several years ago by accident. We had a nice view of the Brooklyn Bridge from our old apartment down by the seaport and one morning I woke up to see hundreds of Santas — every size, shape, color, gender, and national origin — parading across the bridge. A sight I won’t soon forget.

If you’re not quite up to that level of revelry, try a quieter drinking experience and buy some locally handmade gifts and treats while you’re at it. The 4th annual DBA neighborhood craft fair takes place at the cozy East Village bar DBA, First Avenue between 2nd and 3rd streets, Saturday afternoons in December from 3 pm to 7 pm. (Next week is the last chance!)
DBA Craft Fair Postcard.jpg
The DBA Urban Folk Arts & Crafts Fair has been central to our family’s holiday experience since the fair’s inception. Its key organizer and sometime DBA bartender — Sacha, aka Stiggly’s Holistics — is one of our oldest friends in the city. She sells her handmade balms, pottery, and holiday puddings. My daughters, each year, have come up with some money-making enterprise or another: their famous sock monkeys (featured in the ad above) tend to sell quickly. Molly makes killer chocolate chip cookies and brownies from scratch and next week will sell a fall’s worth of her own pottery. Anna, who once won our family a four-night, four-star trip to Monaco using only colored pencils, will take orders for custom portraits on greeting cards or for framing. She’s raising money this year for an exchange trip to Paris in the spring.

So if you’re inclined to kick back, drink a pint, listen to good music (I control the iPod dock!), and support local artisans, drop by and say hello!