This past weekend, Frederick resident Chris Hollenbreck embarked on his annual one-man SantaCon. The tradition has its roots in New York City, where one day of the holiday season is devoted to dressing up as Santa and consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol. Hollenbreck, a New York University dropout and current Downtown Frederick resident, brought the festive event to his hometown two winters ago.
“People drink in Frederick, but unless it’s Drinksgiving there’s no real holiday spirit. No holiday spirits, if you catch my drift,” said Hollenbreck. “So I thought, why not toss on a Santa hat, toss back a few brews and make a night of it?”
And make a night of it he did! Hollenbreck started his adventure at Brewer’s Alley, running into a few high school friends. “Becky was there. Oh man, Becky. I’d like to stuff some coal in her stocking,” he said, thinking fondly of his fellow Urbana High School ’08 graduate.
According to Hollenbreck, he never intended for the outing to be a solo SantaCon.
“I’ve tried to get more folks to come along: Becky, Victoria, Hillary, they all had other plans. I even asked Jeff,” he said. Reportedly, Hollenbreck and Jeff hadn’t spoke since a tenth grade argument regarding Star Wars Episode III. “They’re still churning them out, so I guess we know who won that argument.”
Unable to find anyone willing to play Santa’s Little Helper, Hollenbreck made his way down the street to Wags for a few more drinks, and then stumbled over to Guido’s. That’s where a night of attempting to get bars full of people to sing Christmas carols took a turn for the worst.
“I threw up twice, which is pretty good for me, especially on SantCon,” said Hollenbreck. He recalls vomiting in front of the Guido’s restroom, followed by a prompt berating by the barkeep. “No Christmas spirit! That guy was a real Grinch. He forced this dude I was talking with to clean up the mess. He didn’t even work there!”
After being escorted from the premises, Hollenbeck vomited a second time in front of “a few nice firemen,” who called him an Uber and got him home safely. There, Hollenbeck stared long and hard into a lump of coal and wept over what he had become.