Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Bankers Crossing Staff! 

We’re taking a break from giving you career advice this week, so we thought it would be fun to share our favorite holiday traditions instead.   Enjoy!

Rebecca Westling

In the days when cereal makers included little prizes in their boxes, we pulled a Sugar Bear musical ornament from a box of Sugar Crisp. When you pressed Sugar Bear’s belly, he played a medley of Christmas songs.   It’s our tradition to gather as a family to decorate the Christmas tree each year and since 1991 Sugar Bear has been a part of that tradition.   Over the years, my sister and I scrambled to locate the Sugar Bear ornament first as we pulled out our decorations.  Once found, we pressed its belly to see if it still played its tune.  Up until 3 years ago, it did.  That’s a 24-year tradition, and a lot of mileage out of a cereal box prize!  While the song no longer plays, Sugar Bear still has a prominent place on our tree.   If you’re curious, check out this YouTube video to see the Sugar Bear ornament in action.     

Mindy Haas

Growing up, our family had a homemade cassette tape with a mix of holiday classic songs.  It included Jingle Bells by Frank Sinatra, Old Toy Trains by Roger Miller, Silver Bells by Andy Williams, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Brenda Lee, and many more.  We would pop it into the cassette player on Thanksgiving morning to kick off the holiday season, and it became our favorite soundtrack for wrapping presents and baking Christmas cookies.   To this day, when I hear one of the songs from the tape, it takes me right back to my childhood! My sister and I are on a mission to recreate it in full to continue the tradition with our families. 

A more recent beloved tradition is the Christmas Eve candlelight service at my church.  It wouldn’t be Christmas without it!

Stephen Pruitt

For the past five years, my brother and I have been taking our families to Bob White Acres in Spinnerstown, Pennsylvania to chop down our own Christmas tree.  When we arrive, we receive a handsaw and a cart, then begin our quest to find “the one.”  As each of us selects a tree, we walk around and critique it.  It’s not until we all agree it’s perfect that we chop it down.  Then, we make the trek back to put the tree through “The Shaker” to remove loose needles and stray birds’ nests.   At home, we warm up with hot chocolate and coffee before bringing the tree inside. 

This year has been especially fun since my six-year-old daughter is now old enough to participate more. She picked the “winning” tree and made sure I set it up straight in our living room.  She also brought me the watering can to fill the tree stand reservoir.

I look forward to continuing this tradition in the years to come!

 Jim Pruitt

My favorite holiday tradition is driving my grandchildren through the spectacular light show on Lights on The Parkway in Allentown, Pennsylvania.    There’s just something about seeing the joy of the holidays through the eyes of children with their excitement over the beautiful colored lights.  It brings back memories of my own childhood in Atlanta, Georgia where they would decorate the Governor’s Mansion for the holidays.  I remember being so mesmerized by the dazzling lights.  I hope my grandchildren will remember the Lights on the Parkway with the same fondness!


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