The Largest Christmas Store in the U.S.

Imagine a world where Rudolph's nose never stops blinking, Santa's always making his list and stockings never get packed away. Welcome to Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, the world's largest Christmas store.

"People ask me what it's like to be surrounded by Christmas all year-round," said Carla Bronner Speltzer, Bronner's vice president. "And I've never known it any differently. For me, that's the way it's always been."

Started 60 years ago by Speltzer's father, sign painter Wally Bronner, the store has grown to the size of five-and-a-half football fields.

"With all the lights and keeping up the air conditioning with the many visitors we have, it's about $800 a day, our electricity bill," Speltzer said.

The gargantuan store in the tiny town of Frankenmuth, Mich., is filled with about 6,000 styles of ornaments, as well as nutcrackers, angels and lights. It contains more than 350 decorated trees and more than 500 types of nativity scenes. There are miniatures of just about every Christmas scene you can imagine, even Santa's sleigh flying by.

Next door stands the Silent Night Chapel, a replica of the original church in Austria where "Silent Night" was first sung.

With so much Christmas, plus the actual celebration on Dec. 25, Speltzer says she's always ready for more.

"On December 26, it's like every family," Speltzer said. "It's a joy, and you want to continue to celebrate it and hope that joy continues throughout the year for everyone."

And many do continue the Christmas joy -- by shopping.

"People shop all year-round for Christmas," Speltzer said. "That has become [so] very popular that there's year-round Christmas stores now."

Bronner's is closed only four days during the year: Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Easter and Thanksgiving.

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