The Good Life in Austin Texas

head_left_image

Tale of the Zilker Park Christmas Tree and the “almost” Bad Santa

Zilker Park Christmas TreeMany years ago, during the Holiday Season, my brother along with some others would rent a bus to tour Austin and look at all of the various holiday lights and decorations. A theme party of sorts and an annual affair, the bus was filled with all types of people in the party mode and stocked with snacks, a couple of kegs of beer and other assorted party favors. I think Wild Turkey may also have been involved. For several years I had the duty of taking the role of Santa Claus and dressing the part. It may seem silly to some of you but I was single and more mischievous back then and you have no idea how many girls want to get to know Santa...But I digress. After touring various decorated areas in town the last stop of the party bus tour was always the celebrated Zilker Park Christmas Tree .

The Zilker Park Christmas Tree is not real but man-made and constructed of strands of Christmas lights. The lights are strung from one of Austin's Moon Towers, which were built in the early 1900s to illuminate the city at night. Most are gone but originally were laid out in the city, miles apart and if you were to fly over you would have seen that they were in the shape of an enormous Texas Star. The tower stands 155 feet tall and has 39 strands of lights with 3,309 bulbs that are attached to 19 utility poles, each 14 feet tall, arranged in a circle around the Moon Tower. The diameter is said to be 120 feet and the circumference the tree measures 380 feet. At the top of the tree, a double Texas Star measures 10 feet from point to point and has 150 white frosted bulbs.

Round & Round under the Zilker park TreeApart from the obvious fun of visiting the tree there is a surprising phenomenon that all first time visitors experience. The strands of lights each hold 81 multicolored, 25 watt bulbs, however, City of Austin electricians created a unique spiral pattern of yellow lights that cause the naked eye to flicker when you look up from beneath the tree. First timers are always surprised and of course nearly everyone stands near the center of the tree and begins to turn slowly at first and then like some whirling dervish while staring straight up. It's a remarkable experience and the funniest thing is watching people of all ages having a ball! Children, old folks, teenagers, the stoic and silly, all laughing and carrying on while many collapse dizzy from the experience. I always succumb to the urge everytime we visit!

It was on my very first occasion as the "Party Bus Santa" that we pulled up in one of the nearby parking areas and begin to unload for the short walk to Zilker Park Christmas Tree . It was a chilly evening and everyone was feeling frisky and "in the spirit" and Santa was having a field day hearing from the girls about who was naughty what they wanted for Christmas etc. One of them told me that the reason Santa was always so jolly was because he knew where all the naughty girls lived! The back of the bus operated as our refreshment stand and we all refilled our cups with beverage and I lit up a cigarette. (Yes...I used to smoke many years ago but quit in 1986). Then with a young lady on each arm, I began to lead the lively crowd to the tree and I have to tell you I was thoroughly enjoying myself. When suddenly, (it's always "suddenly" in these stories) I noticed some sort of commotion across the distance between us and the tree. It appeared to be a group of elves shouting and waving madly and they seemed to be heading for our group. Confused at first, I was suddenly struck by the shocking realization that they were not elves but...CHILDREN! In a blinding flash I forgot about the party, the girls, the revelry and panicked. I was having fun but I KNEW I did not want to ruin a child's innocent view of SANTA CLAUSE!

Party SantaOkay, I may have been a frisky Santa out partying during the holidays but I am still a decent person! I quickly stomped my cigarette  and shoved the beverage into the open coat of one of my companions who screamed when the cup spilled its frigid contents. The stampede of kids was nearing as I frantically rubbed the lipstick from my face on the front of the blouse of my other new friend who could not stop giggling. Just in the nick of time, I managed to get it together and shout HO HO HO to the children who were excitedly gathering at my feet. I was so nervous and sweating like a politician in church as I patiently listened to all of the three dozen or so kids while nervously eyeing their parents to see if I was doing alright. Eventually everyone went back to the tree and several of the parents said thanks for being such a good sport. You cannot imagine the relief I felt when we got back on that bus and I have to say, "Mischevious Santa" also scored "good guy" points with my companions and that's always a good thing!

If you live in Austin and have never been to the Zilker Park Christmas Tree or will be visiting during the holidays, you need to do yourself a favor and visit. It is truly an icon of the holiday season in Austin Texas. It's a lot of fun, silly and refreshingly simple. Just enjoy it and maybe even some hot caramel corn, funnel cakes or hot chocolate that are sold in nearby booths. These days you will want to leave the eggnog and other adult beverages at home as the park has rules and for good reason. I would not want to take the chance of meeting a rogue Santa who might not have the same ‘crisis of conscience" and if you saw the movie, you know how these things can turn out...

                         Season's greetings to all and I wish you the best in the New Year!

 

Russell M. LewisPage copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape 

If you enjoyed this post, why not connect with me in these other communities?

Follow Me on Twitter   Become My Friend on Facebook   Time to get LinkedIn!   Subscribe to The Good Life in Austin Texas      

76 commentsRussell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI • December 22 2008 02:00PM

Comments

Oh my word, that was hilarious! Too funny! Merry Christmas, my friend. :-)

Posted by C Tann-Starr (CarolynTannStarr.com TannStarr.net REMAX People Realty) about 1 year ago

When suddenly, (it's always "suddenly" in these stories)

Hahaha!  Ah yes.  You take me back to: "It was a darK and stormy night.  Suddenly, a shot rang out!"

 - Snoopy

:)

Posted by Bruce Brockmeier - Coached By Crouch (Internet Marketing Consultant to REALTORS®) about 1 year ago

Russell,  Fun post, but I assume you don't want me to repost it,  Merry Christmas,  Karen

Posted by Karen Kruschka - Prince William, Fairfax ,Stafford County VA Real Estate Service (RE/MAX Olympic Realty) about 1 year ago

No wonder Santa was always late to get to my house.. He was impaired..!!

Posted by Buster Bear about 1 year ago

What a HOOT! Last week it was that sweet post about your family and this week, the opposite end of the spectrum. You are so funny sometimes and it hilarious to see the new stuff that pops out of your head! Happy Holidays to you!! And the rest of your family too!

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

OMG that is quite the localism post! 

You hound dawg, you! That was awesome of you to straighten up for the kiddos.

Posted by Amanda Hall * FORT WORTH TEXAS Real Estate Broker * (Hall Team Homes ) about 1 year ago

Anne nice to see you. Yes, I was a bit different this time and the story did take place so it made it a lot funnier!

Carolyn Thanks for stopping by and i just posted this in club Chaos too (a fitting home for this post for sure!)

Bruce I had to mention that so it would keep me from using every other used up fairy tale phrase...Thanks for dropping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Karen No way, Actually I need to call you about Art's email. Sounds fun but I need to learn more! I had fun with this and would not want anyone to get the wrong idea after my last "seriously sentimental" post.

Buster Santa was definately having some fun that night!

Allysoun I try to maintain something balanced...yeah, right. Although last weeks post was serious I enjoyed just writing about this Austin Icon without it being boring!

Amanda Hi there, I did manage to pull it together for the children and after they wer gone and i was able to get over the shock of the moment, I did slip back into party santa mode...but that is another story entirely!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell the Christmas tree looks awesome and that bus ride sounds like a lot of fun! Quick thinking on your part SANTA:)

Posted by Bill Gassett Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate (RE/MAX Executive Realty) about 1 year ago

Always preserve the illusion, I say..regardless. Hard to believe what we have now is the TAME Russell...Merry Christmas, pal.

Posted by Dana about 1 year ago

This just may be my favorite localism post of all freaking time!!!

This IS an instant classic, Russell:)

Posted by Jason Sardi, Pretty Fly for an Allentown Guy (None needed;)) about 1 year ago

Russell:  So those are pics of the same tree?  One looking at it from the outside, the other from underneath?  Freaky.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker (Long & Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) about 1 year ago

Russell, I never did get to ride the bus, what with keeping the party afloat at the house. I did love to hear all the stories, though you left out the pp stop on the capitol grounds. Is there a staute of limitations on those types of crimes????? Merry Christmas my brother!

Posted by Mark Lewis about 1 year ago

The best part about this post is that it really is a good article about the tree and it's history but then you throw in the crazy story that makes it so fmuch more interesting than the average blog! I came back to send the link to some of the clients who I know will appreciate the story!

Posted by Allysoun Musslewhite (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

That's classic, Russell.  I thought I knew all of the cheap tricks for currying favor with the (un)fairer sex, but I never did try the Santa gambit.  Good thing, too.  Lord knows what I would have told those kids they were getting in their stockings that year ;)

Posted by Paul Slaybaugh, Scottsdale AZ Real Estate (Realty Executives) about 1 year ago

RUssell, that's hilarious.  I have never heard of Zilker park in AUstin so thanks for the history AND the laugh.  KM

Posted by Kristin Moran, San Antonio,TX~Real Estate 210-313-7397 (Owner - RE/MAX Access - KristinMoran@Remax.net) about 1 year ago

Now Russell- I think we need to bring Mark in on the story-telling.  It would appear he has a few post-scripts which should be included.  This is a very cute story and truthfully, held no surprises regarding your bachelor days.  I do believe I caught on to you very early on....HeeHee

Did you mention something about a Santa joke?????  Happy Holidays my friend :-)

Gail MacMillan Titusville FL Real Estate

Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County (HomeSweetHomeFlorida.com) about 1 year ago

What a great story!  I have spent time this afternoon laughing and crying while I read Christmas stories!  Thank you and Merry Christmas!

Posted by Bruce & Mary Smith REALTORS® Savannah Lakes Village McCormick SC (Savannah Lakes Homes) about 1 year ago

Bill It really is pretty spectacular to behold. As far as "quick thinking" it must surely been providence because I was pretty distracted as you might well imagine!

Dana Yes for sure, still living the "glory" days and yes, hard to believe that the present me is the calmer, more reasonable Russell...I am still laughing at that comment!

Jason I take that as a H U G E compliment coming from you my friend! We march to the beat of similar drummers and of course "Mankind". Thanks again!

Chris Ann Yes, the pictures are as you describe. The first is from a couple of hundred feet away and the other directly beneath. The one beneath the tree depicts the twirling around but really even a video does not give the same actual flickering in the human eye caused by the layout of the yellow spiral of lights within the display! It's a very incredible sensation and yes, freaky!!

Mark Okay, that should tell you how much fun I was having...I was sure you were with us at all times! And umm...statute of limitations yes, well I will have to get back to you on that!!!

Allysoun I never want any of my local posts to be boring so it just worked out that I wanted to do the post about the tree and threw in a tale from the past. It's informative, fun and hopefully not too over the top. At least not in Austin for sure!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

PaulYou know, I just fell into that and liked to so much that I played the part for a few more years. It was "lead generator" of sorts! WHOOPS!

Kristin It's a lot like Breckenridge park, I think. Anyway, Zilker Park is also the location of Barton Springs, the choo-choo train LOL the soccer fields, the annual kite contest and a large portion of my favorite running trails!

Gail We need to keep my brother under wraps as much as possible, we have way too mant funny skeletons in the closet! We have BOTH been misbehaving on some level for too long to quit now! Oh and the joke?

It was in the quote from one of my companions:"One of them told me that the reason Santa was always so jolly was because he knew where all the naughty girls lived!" Ho Ho Ho indeed...

Bruce Thanks for dropping by. I have been in the spirit myself and this was my second post, the first:

Home For The Holidays! 

was completely different and very sentimental!

 

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Oh Russell, I learned several things i never knew abiout the Zilker Park Tree and also some things about you too! What a delightfully fun article on one of Austin's great holiday traditions and a funny look at the some of your past! I am happy that you had the presence of mind to do the right thing!!!

 

Posted by Jeannette Spinelli (Avenue One Properties) about 1 year ago

Hi there, I visited the office and they said you just left but to be sure and check out your new post! Congratulations on getting featured on the front page of Active rain. it sure proves that they have a good sense of humor! Love this story and yet again, another cool reason to enjoy Austin Texas! Have a good Christmas!

Posted by Erin about 1 year ago

RUSTY - How much you payin these people...shucks...should've signed in anonymously!!!  Hope you're having FUN!!!

Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County (HomeSweetHomeFlorida.com) about 1 year ago

Great story!  Thank goodness you were a Bad Santa turned good, at least for the time it took to keep the children safe in their beliefs.  Isn't it amazing that, no matter how old you get, the flicker of Christmas lights always brings a smile to your face?  Hmmm.  That and hot cocoa with tiny little marshmellows.

Posted by Robert Leighton (Sotheby's International Realty) about 1 year ago

Russell,
Great story and insight to your "past"!  Seems to me that you were a very versatile Santa that could/would appeal to all ages.  LOL!

Posted by Cynthia Tilghman, Realtor® Onslow County NC Home Specialist (Kingsbridge Realty, Inc) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell!
What a GREAT story!  I was really surprised because I didn't see the punch line coming!  Having been a part of a similar group in my younger years, I have to admire the fact that you got your act together so quickly!  How did you explain your "elves"? Ha Ha! ;o)

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunnigan, REALTORS (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 1 year ago

Russell, thanks, I had never heard of this Austin event. I can see how you would make the perfect Santa.

Posted by Gary Woltal - Assoc. Broker REALTOR® SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) about 1 year ago

Well now Russell, this puts a completely new spin on your persona!!  Great story!

Posted by Susan Mangigian, West Chester PA Realtor RE/MAX Preferred, ABR (RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A) about 1 year ago

Jeannette I had fun with this post and enjoyed talking about our unique Tree although in an effort to make it more interesting may have revealed more about my past than I should!

Erin Every month you are here you will discover more great tings about Austin! And yes, it's very cool to get the gold start naow and again. I am always flattered when it happens! As far as payment, do you mean for the gold star? Heck I am just lucky as can be to get picked out of so much great stuff here at Active Rain!

Gail...Gail...GAIL!!! I never delete comments but... oh what the heck, you are always so much fun, I just wish i could get something really juicy on you too! Okay...now I am laughing so hard!!! Because, OF COURSE<, I am always having FUN!

Robert Thank you for your comments and yes I am always a sucker for the old school Christmas. You know, as much fun as i had I still was responsible on every level You know, having fun semi-responsibly!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Cynthia Hi there, great to hear fro you! I am thinking I may have been a bit TOO revealing but what the heck, it's all in fun!

Paula I would love to go out with your crowd sometime because I bet y'all are fun too. It's funny you mentioned Santa's "helpers" they were both wearing red fur lined elf caps and played along. It was very funny and even in the midst of our..."revelry" we all somehow knew we needed to be good for the children's sake!

Gary it has been going on since the 1960's and get better every year and I do enjoy playing Santa but not in the same way as before! LOL

Susan Well I guess the cat's out of the bag so to speak. A friend mentioned my past hi-jinx and so I decided to include them make the post more interesting...OOPS!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I hope you have an awesome holiday this year Russell!

Posted by Jeremy Blanton (210 Consulting~ Social Media Advisors) about 1 year ago

This is the best one yet!! I've always wondered why my adult children kept going back to the Tree! They've already been there this year.  You are a true Austinite Russell.  Have the Merriest of Christmases.

Posted by Susan Avant, Realtor (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Sorry Russell...what does "bookmark for replies" mean?

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunnigan, REALTORS (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) about 1 year ago

What a fun story!! I am trying so hard to imagine you as a 'naughty santa' but it just does not compute for some reason. Still cute story, though. :-) ~Merry Christmas and GBU~

Posted by Elizabeth Nieves - Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team (The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group) about 1 year ago

Another perfect Russell Lewis story! The best is always that you are having fun! Great history of the tree-who knew? Oh yeah, of course Russell did. Merry Christmas!

Posted by Liz Newell (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

The tree description and the pictures are absolutely fantastic.  If I ever get to Austin in December, I will definitely check out this beautiful tree.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot Lewisburg WV Realtor (Coldwell Banker Stuart & Watts Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Dear Russell,

Thanks for the Zilker tree story. I had no idea a healthy guy like you used to smoke.... but I guess everybody did back in those days. Thanks for not spoiling the SC secret for the kids. I knew it, you are a pretty swell fella! And you are scooting up the AR charts!! Tim M. better watch out, oh yeah I guess I better write something quick too!

Betina

 

Posted by Betina Foreman-Serving Lake Travis, Lake Austin and the greater Austin area! ((512)771-6318 Prospect Real Estate Solutions, LLC) about 1 year ago

Russell, what a past you have!  You were a frisky young hellion in your time. Hope you manage to give your kids some slack.  Loved the story of your Texas Christmas and your rowdiness. I never feared that you would come through for those little tykes. 

So revaealing...always been a ladies man!

Merry Christmas.

Posted by Gena Riede, Real Estate Broker Sacramento CA Real Estate (916) 417-2699 (Riede Real Estate, Lic. 01310792) about 1 year ago

Jeremy Thanks so much, I will and I need to check in at your blog soon! Thanks for dropping by!

Susan I really appreciate the compliment. Between you, Rich & Brad at Active Rain, I have really learned how to do this and try to improve as I go along. have a great Christmas!

Paula I do not know where i learned it but you can jump in and leave the space to answer all the comments if you are busy. That way you can return and answer everyone as you go along and not have to do 15-20 at a time. That's why I put a "Bookmark"! Thanks and also I promise to get to the meme tag this next weekend or possibly sooner!

Elizabeth Oh my (as my grandmother used to say) if you only knew! I definitely have a frisky side even these days! Just ask around my office or my friends! No wait...never mind! Have a great Christmas!

Liz Thanks and thank you for your friendship (and for listening to me work on my stories)! Have a great Christmas!

Rebecca No matter when you get to Austin, I guarantee there will be something fun and interesting to see and do! Come on down!

Betina hey there, good to see you! Yep, even in my "wilder" days i was still pretty good! I was surprised that I went up but then realized I got some points for taking part in the AR radio show and online party! I have also been trying to post more often and I am certainly going to start posting more real estate info for my specific areas. I did look at the top 10 and we are all so diverse that we probably rarely if ever compete and I will be happy to be up among such august company!

Gena Oh boy...if you only knew! LOL Yes I have always liked having fun and did not get married until I was 34 so yes...I had lots of "fun" but was also mostly a nice guy when it came to others and children for sure!

 

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

It might be an urban myth, but over in College Station, where the Texas Aggie Thanksgiving bonfire was built for many decades, it's said that the Zilker tree is Austin's answer to the Aggie bonfire. Interestingly, around 1965 or so, the year when the Zilker tree was first broached (I think it was first lit in 1967), the College Station Fire Department put a limit of 155 feet on the height of the bonfire. In order to get that high,

The tower stands 155 feet tall and has 39 strands of lights with 3,309 bulbs that are attached to 19 utility poles, each 14 feet tall, arranged in a circle around the Moon Tower. The diameter of the Aggie bonfire was about 120 feet and the circumference measured about 380 feet. Coincidence? Probably not, knowing the two cities and the two universities involved. LOL

Best wishes for health, happiness, peace, and prosperity in 2009.

Posted by Russel Ray, San Diego home inspector (Russel Ray, Property Consultant) about 1 year ago

Russell This is so funny as always! I did not know some other facts you mentioned about the TREE but have long suspected you of some of having a lt of fun in your earlier days. Frankly, you always seem to enjoy yourself no matter what you are doing!

Posted by Scott Harvey (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Nice post.  15 years in Austin and I still have yet to make the Trail of Lights.  As I say every year....maybe next year.  My daughter went night before last and took a zillion pics..

Posted by Tim Moncrief - Luxury Homes Austin, TX (Bartlett Real Estate Group of Keller Williams ) about 1 year ago

Hey man, nice & naughty story! Great way to show off an Austin Texas tradition and have some fun with it at the same time!

Posted by Bill about 1 year ago

Hi RussELL - Just popped back in to read the comments as they are always so creative...much like the genius behind the blog....no, not you...you're persona...DUH!!!  But you know I love you and want you to be JUST ONE THING  ~~~~~~~  HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County (HomeSweetHomeFlorida.com) about 1 year ago

Oh wow, I will never be able to visit the tree again without thinking of you so long ago! That is just so funny!

Posted by Mattie Lewis (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

I was the kid peeking in the window before you got yourself together lol!  Wonderful story Russell. I bet those parents appreciated you giving a little time. Happy Holidays to you and your familiy!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman HAWAII Real Estate & Relocations (Century 21 Liberty Homes) about 1 year ago

Russell congratulations on the feature. Someone printed this and posted it in the copier room at the office! Have a wonderful Christmas with your family! I ma off to see the folks and will see you upon my return!

Posted by Scott Harvey (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

This is hysterical!  Bad Santa but I love it!  Happy Holidays to you and your...and a very healthy, happy and prosperous New Year!

Posted by Florida Real Estate Trainer | Daytona Beach After School Training | Midori (Coastal Results Referral Company) about 1 year ago

Russel Considering the competition between our cities, it makes perfect sense. Our son was accepted at A&M but decided to attend another school. As a person from Austin, I have to say that I enjoyed the campus a lot and would have been happy if he attended! Thanks again!

Scott I pretty much have a good time "most" of the time but as you know, I DO have my moments! Have a good trip home!

Tim I need to check your profile because if you still live northwest, it is a bit of a drive. I think you would enjoy the trip, thanks for stopping by!

Bill Naughty & Nice..I think that's what you call fair and balanced! Have a good holiday!

Gail Howdy again my friend, please stop by as often as you like because you are one of the people who keep it interesting in the comments dept! Thanks!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hey you all, thanks so much for dropping by and commenting! I will be back later to reply and I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

You woofin frisky boy!  Glad to see you're not just some boring broker. Have a merry & safe christmas!

Posted by Colleen Cooley, CRS - Jupiter Florida Realtor (Seacrest Florida Properties) about 1 year ago

Hey - WADYA mean you got points for being on the Radio Show....how do you know that???  Inquiring minds!

Posted by Gail MacMillan - CRS, e-PRO, GRI ~ Titusville FL Real Estate Brevard County (HomeSweetHomeFlorida.com) about 1 year ago

Mattie Of course we will have to take the whole crowd over the weekend and relive the experience...just kidding!

Sally Oh my goodness, it's scary even trying to think of that and oh...I just don't want to imagine what bizarre effect my frolicking would have on the innocent! It's one of the reasons I still volunteer to help make up for the past! LOL

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Hi Russell!  HILARIOUS!  Party Santa, funnel cakes and hot chocolate (MUST've been spiked)!  Great story, my friend...keep 'em coming!

Congratulations on that little gold star too!

Merry ChristmasMerry Christmas

Posted by Debe Maxwell - Search Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte NC Neighborhoods (Helen Adams Realty) about 1 year ago

Oh Russell, this is so you! And as was mentioned in some of the earlier comments, it's hard to believe that you a "tame" version of yourformerly frisky self!

Posted by Suzy about 1 year ago

This is very funny and distinctly different from you moving family post. What a funny contrast and the story is even funnier!

Posted by Anne Giles (AvenueOne Properties, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Scott Thanks for the kudos and I hope you have a good trip to visit your family!

Midori I thought so too but was still a bit hesitant letting all my clients and associate know the truth...of course from all the comments I have figured out that most of them suspected that sort of behavior all along! LOL

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Colleen Thanks for the kudos, we do enjoy ourselves in Austin, Texas and you could never call our company "boring" Thanks for stopping by and best of the season to you too!

Gail During the radio show, I won one of the song contests (Bruce Springsteen singing Santa Claus is coming to town) so I won some points. It's funny that I managed that because I have never been in a "chat" before and everyone's comments were flying by. I was listening in by phone so heard the question and managed to type the answer first. Great Christmas gift BTW!

Debe Thanks, I did have fun writing about the experience and frankly had to censor edit portions of the tale and some names to protect the guilty and misbehaving! Thanks for the kudos, I do enjoy those "little gold stars" too!

Suzy Yeah, I know what you mean! I must have been a much wilder child back in the day...

Anne Well you know I like to consider myself "fair and balanced"...Oh wait, you know better! Thanks for dropping by!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell, What a great Christmas and holiday post, I wish I would have caught it earlier...

Posted by Paul Henderson, Realtor ® Tacoma, DuPont or Hartstene Pointe WA. (RE/MAX Professionals & Four Seasons Inc.) about 1 year ago

I just cannot get over how funny this is and I am still laughing! You certainly have a different side to you that is not always readily apparent when someone sees you in business mode! (Direct, seriously intense and pretty much no-nonsense)! Great story and good info about the tree and tradition!

Posted by Lynne about 1 year ago

Paul Thank you for the compliment. There are so many posts to read at any one time that it is hard to find all I would like to read myself!

Lynne I am glad you enjoyed the tale and yes I do have a sense of humor (even at work) but as you know I do take business very seriously. Thanks for dropping by and I look forward to seeing you after the holidays!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell - what a great story. I definitely like the michevious part about you . . that Christmas tree sounds and looks amazing and I would love to see it.

How cool that you the consummate nice Santa for the kids - and I am sure the parents all appreciated it. It is amusing to picture Santa in party mode though!

Happy New Year to you and your family, and hope that you had a fantastic Christmas!

Posted by Sharon Paxson Newport Beach Real Estate (Prudential California Realty, DRE License 01501912) about 1 year ago

Hi Sharon so good to hear from you! Yes, I did always manage in my "wilder" days to at least maintain some semblance of responsibility! I do still like to have fun but not at others expense (most of the time). I hope you all had a great holiday, thanks for stopping by and best of the new year to you and your family!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

LUV the picture from the epicenter of the tree!

Posted by Renee Burrows - Las Vegas Real Estate (702-580-1783) www.ShackDiva.com (The Force Realty -Realtor>Estate>Probate>REO>Short Sale) about 1 year ago

Renee It's what happens when everyone, and I mean EVERYONE trys it standing in the center and looking up. It's funny to see folks of all ages twirling about until dizziness and laughter takes over!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Russell -- while my family was in town we too enjoyed the Zilker Tree & Trail of Lights.  You can't pass up on the Austin's Finest Holiday Stops!!!  You never seam to amaze me with your life stories...thanks for sharing!!! 

Posted by Mandy Andrews (Texas American Title Company) about 1 year ago

Oh Russell, I just read your latest MeMe and thoroughly enjoyed it! I wanted you to tell you we were at the tree recently and saw a Santa and i wondered if he was going to be as frisky or as responsible as you were back in the day!

Posted by Jeannette Spinelli (Avenue One Properties) about 1 year ago

That sounds like fun, and a very cute story.

Posted by Tony and Libby Kelly, CRS, ABR, ePro, SRES, CLHMS, CDPE (Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere) about 1 year ago

Russell this is the funniest Christmas tale I've read this year! Happy New Year!

Posted by Scott Harvey (AvenueOne Properties) about 1 year ago

Mandy I have lived in Austin a long time and did not marry for a long time too so that makes for numerous opportunities for "life stories"! Thanks again for commenting and maybe I will run into you at Zilker Park!

JeannetteOh boy, that's funny because whenever I am there and see a Santa, I wonder the same thing and truth be told I have never seen a Santa as "Wild" as I was back when! (Thank Goodness!)

Tony & Libby I appreciate you dropping by and commenting and yes it's still lots of fun but quite a bit toned down from some of my past antics!

Scott Glad your back, I hope you had a god trip and thanks for the Kudos!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Love the tree of course one of our family traditions to visit, but loved the Santa story more.  Wish I knew you back then...or did I?  Merry Christmas Santa and Happy New Year!!

Karen David-Mohr

Posted by Anonymous about 1 year ago

Karen It's always a fun place for young and old! And to tell the truth, I am sure we would have remembered each other which is a scary thought! Thanks for your friendship and personal business expertise over the years and Happy New Year to you!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Wow, this is a hilarious post! Zilker Park is indeed a great treat for the young and old!

Posted by Dorie Dillard: Canyon Creek & NW Austin Living (Coldwell Banker United) about 1 year ago

Dorie, as a fellow Austinite, I am sure you have been there before and hopefully did not see me cavorting around back in the early 80's! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Definitely different from the Santas I saw growing up.  Glad you cleaned it up for the kids ; )

That Christmas tree makes me dizzy, and I'm not even there.

Posted by Christine Donovan Costa Mesa CA Homes Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 (Donovan Blatt Team - Donovan Group Realty) about 1 year ago

Hi Christine Thank you for dropping by! This was a long time ago and I have cleaned up my act but even then, I knew better than to ruin Christmas for a bunch of happy kids! The picture depicts the effect when people (and everyone does it at least once) twirl beneath the center of the tree!

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (AvenueOne Properties, Austin Texas Real Estate) about 1 year ago

Participate



(optional)
What does the graphic say?