Pure Michigan

Traveling the World at the World’s Largest Christmas Store

I drove there by memory. Though if memory failed, there were enough signs pointing the way, much like the Star of Bethlehem to the Three Kings. And as I drove nearer, I grew weary with the road winding through the darkness, passing the occasional home, barn or church, but no indication of my destination. Did I go the wrong way? I began to hesitate.

Then, just as the road curved ahead – a light! Then another! Then THOUSANDS! Bronner’s, the world’s largest Christmas store, beamed ahead with enough Christmas lights to rival the night sky.

Bronners, the world's largest Christmas store

Just how large is the largest? Well, Bronner’s is situated on 27 acres, is open 361 days per year, greets 2 million visitors annually, and holds over 50,000 Christmas goodies to sell. And my favorite fact I recently learned from the PureMichigan blog? The average electric bill is $1,250… PER DAY! Oh, and there’s a reason why you get a handy dandy map to guide your shopping experience… because it’s just that large.

There’s a section of Bronner’s dear to my heart. It’s toward the back, near the Christmas trees and angel tree toppers. I had to pass various nativity scenes, nutcrackers of every size, colorful stockings and artists personalizing ornaments. I trotted through the Santa section, perused the food decorations (& giggled at the bacon ornaments), and paused by the cafeteria to inhale the wafting hot chocolate.

There it was, my favorite section: Christmas Around The World.

Bronners, the world's largest Christmas store. The Christmas Around World section.

Did you know you can travel the world at the world’s largest Christmas store? Because for the next hour, I swear I became so enveloped in the detail of the ornaments that the holiday tunes seemed to mute, the smell of cinnamon and pine grew stronger, and the lights from the decor created bokeh in my peripheral vision as my imagination took me to every country with ornaments on display at Bronner’s.

Here were some of my favorites:

This Santa, hand-painted in Poland is so quintessentially Christmas. Found at the world's largest Christmas store, Bronner's in Frankenmuth, Michigan.

This Santa, hand-painted in Poland is so quintessentially Christmas. I don’t think I’d ever leave home for the holidays, unless it were to visit the European Christmas markets. This ornament makes me feel like I’m strolling the markets now with mulled wine between my winter gloves.

Found at the world's largest Christmas store, Bronner's, in Frankenmuth. If these Peruvian food baskets don't say "South America" maybe the canvas burro would. So colorful and crafted.

If these Peruvian food baskets don’t say “South America” maybe the canvas burro would. So colorful and crafted.

Christmas around the world in the world's largest Christmas store, Bronner's. This ornament is from Africa

Made somewhere in Africa, the simplicity of this angel ornament reminded me that Christmas is more than sparkles and presents.

 

Buckingham Palace ornament found at the Largest Christmas Store.

I finally saw Buckingham Palace! When I visited London during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I had the misfortune of the Palace blocked from pedestrians. Looks like I got my royal experience at Bronner’s. I wonder if they decorate the real Buckingham Palace for Christmas…

Asian lanterns reminded me of teaching English in China and how often I'd see these guys dangling in a window. Runner up to the Chinese dragon ornament and the Japanese sushi roll

Asian lanterns reminded me of teaching English in China and how often I’d see these guys dangling in a window. Runner up to the Chinese dragon ornament and the Japanese sushi roll

Cannoli ornament found at the world's largest Christmas store.

Of course, Italy would have baskets of food ornaments. If only that cannoli were real…

Hand-painted Russian ornament found at the world's largest Christmas store. I've never been to Russia, but this hand-painted ornament evokes the cold I can't even imagine this place experiences.

I’ve never been to Russia, but this hand-painted ornament evokes the cold I can’t even imagine this place experiences.

After my recent trip to Australia, this koala made me smile so big reminiscing of the amazing time I had down under.

After my recent trip to Australia, this koala made me smile so big reminiscing of the amazing time I had down under.

Poland's hand-painted ornaments were incredible.

Poland’s hand-painted ornaments were incredible.

Philippines ornaments found at the world's largest Christmas store.

Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before I left, I watched two young boys excitedly waving the different flags from different countries. They may not be globetrotters yet, but perhaps their magical visit to Bronner’s was a small introduction to how beautiful our world is.

If you ever visit Frankenmuth, Michigan, Bronner’s is a must. Even if you just peruse the Around the World section to fuel your wanderlust, you’ll leave with so much holiday and worldly spirit, you may just drive off singing Christmas carols in Spanish. Feliz Navidad!

This post is apart of the 2014 Travel Advent Calendar Series created by Shere y Paul.  The 25 Days of Travel.  Be sure to follow along here to see where we’re headed next.

TravelAdventCalendar

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  • Wow, it looks so beautiful! The Polish and Russian ornaments are simply gorgeous! Did you buy anything? :)

    • Hey Vlad! Thanks for the comment & thanks for following my blog! Yes, I definitely made a couple purchases, though I didn’t share them in the blog (because they’re Christmas presents!). I will say that my new ornament for my Christmas tree was a big ole glittery breakfast skillet with eggs & bacon & sausage – I’ll be posting more pics on instagram today, so let’s connect there too!

  • Somehow I now want a bacon ornament. Maybe it’s just me though. Happy holidays Amanda!

  • Santa Dad

    This get me in the Christmas mood.
    Very nice.

  • I definitely love that koala, I wish so much I could have one too… :)

    • They sure are cute! I’m pretty sure you can order them online and have them shipped to you if you go to Bronner’s website. :)

  • gramma

    Oh Amanda, I’m so glad you were able to go to Bronners again..That is one of my favorite places to visit anytime of the year..I just love the atmoshere of the town of Frankenmuth and the good ole chicken dinners.

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