September 21, 2020

By ALLANAH PINHORN

The jack-o-lanterns thrown in the garbage and the fake fangs packed away for another year are both signs that Christmas is right around the corner. There’s no better place to gear up for the holiday season than at 25 Christmas Lane, Frankenmuth, Mich.: Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland.

A four-hour drive from Conestoga, the “World’s Largest Christmas Store” is a treat for the senses. Covering nearly 30 acres of sparkle, flash, glitter and glitz, Bronner’s has over 88,6000 products for sale, from bulbs and handcrafted ornaments to postcards, lights and pre-lit Christmas trees. Hundreds of candy canes, polar bears, nativity scenes and nutcrackers adorn the over-hanging eves, carols dance through the air like so many sugar plums and red-vested employees flit around like Santa’s elves.

Need an acrylic cowboy hat strung in garland? Bronner’s has it. Tiny starfish, articulated lizards, sushi or canoes? Bronner’s will ship it. If you can hang it on a tree this sprawling, bright and magical place will provide it.

Started in 1945 by Wallace, “Wally,” Bronner and his wife Irene, the Michigan landmark moved to its current chalet-style building in 1977 and is open 361 days a year, closing only for New Year’s Day, Easter, U.S. Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Sam (who wouldn’t give her last name) is a custom-ornament artist year-round at the store. She said they’ll serve over 40,000 customers next weekend alone; they serve hundreds of thousands of customers throughout the year.

During the months of November and December special events adorn the calendar: Santa visits, glassblowing seminars are held and artist show up to sign their creations. Traditionally every Christmas Eve Silent Night is sung at the chapel outside the entrance – Wally himself led the sing-along until his death in 2008.

In addition to in-store shopping Bronner’s ships worldwide, through online, mail, telephone and fax orders.

For more information go to www.bronners.com.