SOURCE: Woodloch Resort

Woodloch Resort

November 19, 2012 07:42 ET

Woodloch Pines Resort Focuses on the Important Things This Holiday Season

Woodloch Carries on a Centuries-Old Tradition and Passes It Along to Others

HAWLEY, PA--(Marketwire - Nov 19, 2012) - Whether dealing with the turmoil of our modern world or the yearly stress that holidays often bring, one thing that stays constant is the deep-rooted holiday traditions at the Woodloch Pines Resort in Northeast Pennsylvania. Through challenges and stress, one reassuring element that glimmers is the holiday traditions that each family holds dear.

That is no different for the Kiesendahl Family, owners of the award-winning family resort located in the lake region of the Pocono Mountains. "Family and tradition provides a sense of security and nostalgia that seem to make other problems melt away. With the commercialization of this magical season, it is nice to retreat with the family to focus on the important things like how priceless time together is," explains John Kiesendahl, owner and president of Woodloch Pines Resort.

The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines the word tradition as "an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior." One of the property's most treasured traditions is the Yule Log hunt, inherited by the Kiesendahl family in 1958 from the previous (Nordic) groundskeepers of the original 12-room boarding house. The Yule Log hunt was an ancient Norse custom that had been held at the Winter Solstice. A giant log was cut and then burned to ward off bad luck and welcome the "rebirth" of the sun, a return to longer and warmer days. While the wood burned, families would admit their faults and mistakes and reconcile sour relationships. They would also eat, drink and be merry. Burning this log, starting with the ashes from the year prior, was said to bring good luck to a household for the year. 

Throughout the resort's history, the Woodloch Team has shared this tradition with their guests every holiday season. The log, cut from birch and decorated with holly, is hidden somewhere on their 135-acre holiday wonderland. A "hunt" begins, and guests scramble to find the Yule. Once found, the lucky finders are ushered to the hearth, where the log is set ablaze, wishing everyone a happy and prosperous New Year. The finders are given a bottle of champagne, and all participants share in caroling, holiday treats and Woodloch's traditional egg nog punch before Santa and Rudolph appear to close the festivities with gifts and goodies for the children.

In addition to the Yule Log Hunt, Woodloch Pines Resort becomes a winter wonderland with amazing holiday dressings. Some of the other traditions and festivities include:

  • Holiday Craft Fair- featuring over 40 local crafters providing a one-stop, artisan, hand-made, unique holiday shopping experience.

  • A picturesque wagon ride through an illuminated trail on their annual "Festival of Lights" tours.

  • "Gingerbread Wars"- Where guests will assemble a task force and compete against other teams in a very unique culinary decorating contest of elaborate Gingerbread Houses.

  • Angel Tree Program - Woodloch is offering a commemorative ornament to guests and staff alike where the proceeds from the purchase will be given to the Red Cross, Disaster Relief Fund.

  • Winter Olympics- limber up for six fun and frosty events in the snow to compete for the coveted Woodloch gold medal.

Patrons can also expect walnut hunts for children, spirited caroling, and delicious holiday baked goods.

It is no wonder that many families have made the holidays at Woodloch their own family tradition. "With a return guest rate of over 60% during that season, we are extremely grateful that we can be a part of creating memorable traditions for others," offers Kiesendahl with a jolly smile.

Holiday packages are available every weekend in the month of December when all-inclusive adult rates begin at $199 per night/per person. More information can be found at

About Woodloch Pines Resort:

Creating a magical experience for families since 1958, Woodloch Pines Resort's signature warm hospitality keeps guests returning year after year and offers a truly unique all-inclusive family vacation experience fitting for everyone's taste. An award-winning family resort, championship golf course and sister property featuring a luxury destination spa are just 95 scenic and convenient miles from New York City nestled in the Pocono Mountains Lake Region. For additional information, call Woodloch Pines at 1.800.WOODLOCH or online at