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August 2, 2009

Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland – A Retro Kitsch Dream

Pierogi Fest & Hawaiian Frankcabobs 016The shot on the left is from Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, which is located in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  I am sure that many of you have heard of Bronner’s, but if you haven’t, it is an enormous Christmas store. Enormous.  It is literally 2 acres of ornaments, fake christmas trees, lights, toppers, outdoor decorations and pretty much everything else you could want to celebrate Christmas.  It is the largest Christmas store in the world.  At least that is what they claim.

But frankly, if there is a bigger one, I don’t want to know about it.

Bronner’s is fun not just for the huge selection and fun atmosphere (think giant plastic snowmen and hours of piped in Christmas music), but also because Mr. Bronner started the store back in the 1940’s and the place is packed with tons of history and vintage fun around every corner. Lots of framed photos and letters paper the walls in each section, and the great photo timeline of the evolution of the store in the little cafeteria is especially sweet.

Speaking of the cafeteria, here I am posing with a well-earned snack for traversing 2 acres of ornaments. What do you get as a snack at Bronner’s? Why, homemade christmas cookies and milk, of course!

Notice the great retro ornaments behind me. Love it!

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Tom and I also found the Christmas tree of our dreams there – and 8 foot pre-light white spruce!  I don’t know why on earth we didn’t take a picture.  Probably because we were so excited about finding a white tree. Now we just have to make room in the budget for it.

Here are more ornaments, retro and modern.

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And even more!  I loved this button star – I thought it was a great idea to use up my vintage button stash!  Check out all the pink ornaments in the background.

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That is it for now, but I am sure we will have more pictures of Bronner’s in the future. We are going to have to go back for that white tree!

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10 Responses to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland – A Retro Kitsch Dream

  1. sablemable Reply

    August 2, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I have never been to Bronner’s before, but I may have to take a road trip there!

    Ruth, LOVE your headband, girl! Very Sixties!

  2. sablemable Reply

    August 2, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I just went to Bronner’s website and as I was looking through the treasures, I started thinking of my Mom, who loved decorating the Christmas tree, and how much she would have enjoyed Bronner’s.

    Ruth, I just remembered that the folks once bought a white tree and how pretty it was. I don’t remember the name of the equipment, but you plugged it into the wall, set it under or close by the tree and like a fan, it rotated this disc that had 4 sections of colors (red, blue, yellow and green) so that when it hit the tree, the white of the tree would turn red, blue, yellow or green. Hope this makes sense-I’m bad at details.

    Great memories of home and wonderful parents!

  3. Sara in AZ Reply

    August 2, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Bronner’s – that place is SOOOO cool. Mike and I went there once when we were visiting his family in Michigan, and I just loved it too. PLEASE tell me you ate at the Bavarian Inn Lodge!!!! OMG they have the BEST ever fried chicken there!!! You get these family style meals where it is kinda like a mini buffet right at your table with Chicken and squash and these awesome noodles etc. etc… I LOVE that place, you MUST go – you too Sable!

    Sable – You must mean a color wheel! I have one of those to go with my Aluminum Tree. They were insanely popular back then, but I have also seen some new ones in the past few years. You should get yourself one!

  4. Alex Reply

    August 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    My sister has a vintage silver tree and color wheel. It’s beautiful. I found a pale pink tree last year, and it showcases my original shiny brite ornaments perfectly. This place looks wonderful!

  5. Sara in AZ Reply

    August 2, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    Alex – Your pink tree sounds AWESOME! Can’t wait to see pics of your house.

  6. Anonymous Reply

    August 2, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I love christmas stores, especially ones that offer retro and retro inspired ornaments. i’m nowhere in the area of bronner’s but i may have to check out their website for gifts.

  7. Jen Reply

    August 3, 2009 at 9:45 am

    Ha — I have a Christmas-related post today too. Must be something in the air!

    Wish I were closer so I could ransack that store. Those retro Christmas ornaments are adorable. My Christmas tree has been getting more and more retro-looking every year. Next step will have to be getting an aluminum tree, I think!

  8. sablemable Reply

    August 3, 2009 at 11:36 am

    LOL, Sara! That’s it! A color wheel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mind is going.

    Alex, I’ve seen the pink trees in catalogs and online! You must take a photo of it all decorated this Christmas and send it to Ruth to post!

    I would love to get a white tree and color wheel. Maybe Santa will bring me those EARLY, LOL!

  9. Lori Libka Reply

    August 3, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Thanks, Ruth. So glad you could visit us!
    Lori Libka, Bronner’s communications assistant

  10. RetroRuth Reply

    August 4, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Glad everyone liked the post, and thanks for visiting, Lori!

    Sara – I have been to Zender’s for chicken, but not the Bavarian Inn yet. Hubs and I will add that to the list!

    Sable – I am going to start shopping for a aluminum tree and a color wheel for this year. If anyone has any suggestions of where to get one, let me know!

    Alex- Yes! Send pics! I got the other pics that you sent me, and I will be working on your post shortly.

    Jen – Loved your post. That tablecloth was great!

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