Bringing Santa to Bastrop: Texas Bank Couple and Elves Bring Holiday Cheer for over 20 Years

By Sharp, Reid; Sharp, Cindy | ABA Banking Journal, December 2010 | Go to article overview

Bringing Santa to Bastrop: Texas Bank Couple and Elves Bring Holiday Cheer for over 20 Years


Sharp, Reid, Sharp, Cindy, ABA Banking Journal


If you see "Strobo Santa" on Hwy. 304, you'll know you've arrived at Wexford Farm in time for the annual "Evening with Santa" presented by Cindy and Reid Sharp and friends. "Strobo Santa" is one of many decorations the Sharps accumulated over more than two decades of hosting the get-together-so many they must be stored in a 48-ft. container. "Strobo Santa," a tall rendition of St. Nick, features strobe lights to draw attention, and Reid says when they're switched on you'd swear a state trooper was in hot pursuit of something.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Reid, president and CEO of $320 million-assets First National Bank of Bastrop, says the evening began in 1986 when bank staffers realized the closest Santa for youngsters was many miles away in Austin. So the bank brought Santa to its lobby.

In 1991, the Sharps moved the party to their home, a historic property known as Wexford Farm. Nowadays the affair is not a bank event, but is hosted by the Sharps with help from many "elves," including friends, some bank staffers, and even bankers from competitive institutions.

One elf, Patricia Weiss, does much of the cooking and baking with her family. The menu is distinctly Texan. Featured dishes include tamales, tortilla roll ups, sausage, taco soup, sausage balls, and chicken salad sandwiches (a specialty of Reid's mother).

Festivities, besides youngsters telling Santa their wishes, include a hayride and holiday music. Reid adds that folks consume "gallons of red punch and hot cider. …

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