Where does Christmas lurk the other 364 days?



I found Christmas the other day. It wasn’t as if I was searching for it in July, I just happened to stumble upon it.

To me Christmas means winter, winter means snow and snow means cold. I generally think Christmas should not be released until December, it should not be spoken of until then and it should certainly not be observed until Dec. 25.

But it’s out there, lurking, waiting to prey upon the good people who cross paths with it. I found this out during a trip to Frankenmuth and despite my reservations, we paid a visit to Bronners. This store, this place of never-ending Christmas madness, was a place I vowed never to return to after my first visit several years back.

Despite my efforts to stay away, Christmas keeps pulling me back.

If the holiday decorations outside, on a hot sunny day, aren’t surreal enough, then the constant barrage of Christmas carols echoing through the speakers inside and out is.

Once inside, I was shocked to see that the store caters to every Christmas need.

There are specialized ornaments for every occasion: celebrating anniversaries, commemorating a baby’s first Christmas, marking an engagement or wedding and so on.

Specialized ornaments also were down almost every aisle, for every profession imaginable. If you are a lawyer, they have a specialized ornament. A police officer, a teacher, a secretary and even if you’re a journalist. A journalist? Oh, such a smooth way to draw us in and keep us supporting this whole yearround Christmas experience.

There are ornaments based on movies, like A Christmas Story, the Grinch and National Lampoon’s Vacation. I didn’t find anything related to my personal favorite Christmas movies — Die Hard and Lethal Weapon (both set at Christmas) — probably because ornaments involving shootouts and profanity haven’t quite caught on yet.

Everywhere you look inside Bronners, it’s perpetual Christmas. Laughing, singing animatronic elves, Santas and reindeer are looking down from every shelf, many of them hung in overheard displays so you are forced to look up in awe of the splendor that is Christmas.

Before you say it, I know, I sound like a Grinch. My heart is probably two sizes, too small. I just don’t need Christmas until December. But Bronners serves as the holiday’s home away from home and that works for me because it’s there waiting for you — not pursuing you through every media outlet to pull you back in.

When in Frankenmuth, as you driveby Bronners, you have a choice to just keep on driving past, or stopping to give yourself over to the place for a stroll through Christmas. Just be warned, I can’t guarantee you won’t be whistling along to Christmas carols after you stop, just like I can’t guarantee you won’t want to buy some ornaments to put away for when the holiday arrives and the family Christmas tree goes up again.

Why, just think! There’s only 139 days left until Christmas. ggould@mihomepaper.com

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