If you're looking to dress as a mischievous elf, sexy Mrs. Claus or a pint-loving Santa, no need to leave New Jersey for Manhattan or Philadelphia. There's at least four SantaCon events happening around the Garden State over two weekends. And with most, there's even an underlying effort to spread good cheer while having fun.

Asbury Park and Princeton will see Santacon throngs of merry revelers this Saturday, December 8, for the seventh and fifth year, respectively. (This year, it's the same weekend that New York City and Philadelphia are seeing their red-suited invasion)

On Saturday, December 15, SantaCon events make their way to both Seaside Heights and Hoboken.

Asbury Park kicks off the day with the 3rd annual Santa Run. It's billed as "an army of Santas running (or walking) a 5K race in support of local charity, Lunch Break." There will also be a massive toy drive 'to provide local kids with a happy holiday season.' As of this week, race registration is sold-out.

SantaCon jingles on in NJ (courtesy Leena Sandhu)

Princeton SantaCon also hopes to "spread kindness, good cheer and pay it forward, when possible. " The Princeton event is free to attend.

The Seaside Heights SantaCon encourages those taking part to be generous with non-profits. They suggest bringing "At least two non-perishable food items for Santa’s food drive and one unwrapped toy for local charity."

Hoboken's SantaCon has become infamous over the past several years for rowdy and reckless behavior. Just last year, the city's police chief shared live tweets as tickets piled up faster than yule logs on a fire.

SantaCon brings with it a zero-tolerance approach to aggressive and destructive behavior. Police departments in all affected Jersey communities are asking participants to be responsible and respectful. And, if you're planning to take a train to festivities this weekend, know that NJ Transit is saying "Bah, Humbug!" to public drunkenness.

There's a ban on ANY drinks from Saturday through early Sunday. There's support for the crackdown, by innocent passengers who've had encounters over the years with messy participants heading to and from SantaCon events.

Want to show the nicer side of a Santacon? Or vent about navigating around a gathering? Just tweet me @ProudJersey and at @nj1015!

Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee.  A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.

Follow her on Twitter and on Facebook as ProudJersey.

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