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.
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.
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:
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.