Like football, Scrabble, and other reindeer games, the SantaCon experience is made all the more merry by certain rules.

Here are the Big 4:

1.
Don't Mess With Kids.
Children love Santa, and we don't want to spoil that. Say "Ho, Ho, Ho!" and wish them a Merry Christmas!
2.
Don't Mess With Cops.
The police already have their hands full with tourists looking for the Grand Place. Be respectful.
3.
Don't Mess With Security.
Again, these folks are busy enough. Remember: What would Santa do?
4.
Don't Mess With Santa.
That means "no Santa left behind." If another Santa gets into trouble, be sure that Santa stays with the group or gets home safely.

Here are some more:

5.
Santa pays cash on the spot.
Pity the bartender trying to collect from a room full of people dressed like Santa. Also, remember that most of the little chalets don't take plastic, and there will be several Santas behind you waiting to pay. Finally, plan ahead: ATMs near the Christmas market are thin on the ground.
6.
Santa leaves a tip.
Spreading a little holiday joy to the people serving Santas will create goodwill for the event. When in doubt, round up or say "keep the change" to speed things along.
7.
Santa has a plan.
Santa does not drive drunk. Santa always knows another way to get home.
8.
Santa knows his Limits.
Jolly, singing Santa is cool. Staggering, vomiting Santa is not cool. Don't be that Santa.
9.
Santa does not talk to the press.
Would you talk to the press about your job after two drinks? Enough said.
10.
Santa is discreet.
What happens in Santaland stays in Santaland; embarrassing photos don't get posted on the internet.
11.
Santa is Santa!
He's jolly. He's generous. He knows that joy is contagious.

(The rest of the rules are coming soon.)