Our Woodloch Christmas Stories!

It truly is the most WONDERFUL time of the year! Christmas and the holiday season is such a special time for so many of us here- as you build your own Christmas memories at our resort, we thought it might be fun to check in with our staff and have them share theirs as well! Read on!

“Let’s just start by saying my husband’s birthday is on Christmas so celebrating his birthday and Christmas and finding him a gift for both is very difficult.

A week before Christmas, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I held onto the information that I was pregnant and wrapped up baby bottles, bibs and baby items and gave it to my husband for our first Christmas together with a card that said ‘Dad you can expect me to arrive in the beginning of August, Love, Baby Struble.’ He cried.

To top it off, we celebrated Christmas with both of our families there so both of our moms and all of our
siblings were together. We gave each of them cards that read the same thing, that Baby Struble would arrive in early August so all family members found out at the same exact time. That was a truly memorable
Christmas for us all!”

-TRACEY, Reservations Department

“I was raised in a family with five children.  My parents did not have much money. We all  expected one gift for Christmas.

The gifts were put out under the tree a couple of days before Christmas. My siblings and I would always scope out the gifts, shake them, etc. This one year when I was about 10 years old there was a gift under the tree with no one’s name on it.

When Christmas morning came, the gift was for me. It was a green dress with a chain link belt. My  father had picked it out for me, and I was so thrilled. This happened over 50 years ago yet I remember it  so well!”

-CHRIS, Reservations Department

“My favorite Christmas memory is an interesting one, because I wasn’t there to see it.

We had to say goodbye to our family dog the summer prior, and it was tough holiday that year on everyone. Little did any of us know, not too far away on Christmas morning, the newest addition to our family was just being born! After the holidays were over, and with an overabundance of love to give in our family, we found out that Miniature Pinscher puppies were looking for a home, and our dog MAVERICK soon after joined our lives!

Every year, he gets double presents from everyone Christmas morning for both Christmas and his birthday. Any attempt at ‘combination gifts’ falls short of his expectations.”

-JOE, Marketing

“What could of been my worst Christmas turned into one of the best. My Mom passed away in July, and my only child, who lives in Arizona, could not make it in for Christmas because he came home for her funeral. He could not afford to fly again. I always had Christmas Eve dinner at my house for Sid’s (my husband) and my family but decided I was not going to do it this Christmas. It was hard for me to even put up Christmas decorations, but I did. Christmas Eve came, and Sid got up and got dressed and went to work. I had off and was really missing my Mom. I cried most of the morning and was really feeling sorry for myself. Sid called me later in the day to check on me, and of course I cried more to him.

As evening came around, I was still alone and still feeling depressed. I was sitting in our living room and thought I heard voices outside. It sounded like people singing. I went into our kitchen and looked out the window and saw people with Santa hats on and thought to myself, ‘Great, all I need now are a bunch of people singing Christmas songs.’ One person was holding a dog, and I recognized that it was Olaf, my son’s dog. Sid flew my son and daughter-in-law in for the holidays. It was them on the patio singing! Sid actually did not go to work that morning. He went to Philly to pick them up at the airport. We did not have the big meal and presents we usually would have, but we were together. I realized that Christmas that it wasn’t the fancy food and presents that were important but the love and support of my family. That is what makes the best Christmas!

– JUDY, Accounting

“It was a few weeks before Christmas when my youngest had just moved out, and I was suffering badly from empty nest syndrome. Having four kids I was used to a noisy fun-filled Christmas morning with lots of laughter!! Needless to say I was doing a lot of whining to my kids about how horrible it would be to wake up to a quiet house on Christmas morning. My two oldest had families of their own and would not be around. My second youngest had plans with her in-laws in New Jersey for Christmas morning and planned on arriving later in the day. I went to bed on Christmas Eve feeling sorry for myself.

I woke up in the morning trying to get in the spirit of the season. I decided to get up and pack my annual fudge and cookie trays and get the gifts ready to take to my in-laws for Christmas brunch. As I walked down the hall to the kitchen, I realized someone was sitting in the living room! My second youngest child jumped up and shouted ‘Merry Christmas Mom!’ She had made arrangements for her uncle to come to New Jersey to pick her up in the middle of the night so that she could be there when I woke up! Soon after, my youngest arrived with her friend-roommate! It turned out to be an awesome Christmas after all. I knew my kids were pretty special, and that gesture clinched it for me!”

-ELLEN, Gardening Department

“Every year, my brothers and I do our annual ‘brotherly shopping trip.’ We stop in stores, restaurants, bars and more, and at every stop we sing a rousing rendition of ‘We Wish You A Merry Christmas’ loud and proud. We get a few awkward glances from some folks, but mostly everyone is in the holiday spirit and either smile or join us.

It’s a proud Kiesendahl family tradition!”

– BOB K.

“It was our first Christmas at Woodloch, and our family was starting a new tradition. Johnny was 12, I was 9 and Steven was just 3 years old. Our Christmas tree was beautifully decorated, and our living room was what is now the Staircase Dining Room . Our tradition has always been to open our gifts late on Christmas Eve so all of us (Grandma Mould, Grandpa Mould, Pop Kiesendahl, Mom, Dad, Johnny, Steven and I) drove to Barryville, New York across the old Roebling Bridge to have Christmas Eve dinner at Reber’s restaurant. Dad really loved that German Christmas food and feeling!!

We could hardly sit still through dinner wondering what would be waiting for us under the tree when we got home. On the way home, Mom and Dad kept pointing out that they saw Santa and his sleigh coming over the mountains. Steven, the little one, was so excited! It was a beautiful snowy night, and Woodloch seemed like a magical Christmas place to all of us since we were all a bunch of Long Islanders experiencing Pennsylvania winter for the first time. When we walked back into our fireplaced living room, there were beautiful packages everywhere. Johnny and I each got snow skis and boots, which we tried out down the Woodloch hill on Christmas Day. I can still feel the warmth we all shared on that first Christmas, and we continued that Reber’s Christmas dinner tradition for quite a few years.

Just so hard to believe that was 60 years ago! Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!

– NANCY K.