Every year since we were married more than 40 years ago, Jennifer and I have made our way to the little town of Frankenmuth, MI at the base of the Michigan Mitt's Thumb region where we pay a visit to Bronner's – the world's largest Christmas store.
Doubtless you've seen the signs along the interstates, more than 60 of them all over the country, inviting tourists to make the drive.
It's a huge store, over seven acres in size. And it's crowded, especially at this time of the year. Over the three-day Black Friday weekend, 50,000 people shopped at Bronner's.
Two of them were Jennifer and me, as we do year after year. The very first Christmas tree ornament Jennifer and I bought as we started our married
life came from Bronner's. There have been many since. She often buys one for our kids and grandkids. Themed, of course, based on their interest or hobbies – like a golf ornament for a grandson, a ballerina ornament for our granddaughter, a stethoscope ornament or our doctor-son or a clarinet ornament for our music teacher son-in-law.
You get the idea.
It's a Jennifer thing.
Me? I like to get a goofy Christmas hat. It's a Mike thing.
Anyway, this year, like every year, she had all sorts of ideas for things to get for our house. But then I pointed out that we had two houses: Our sticks and bricks home downstate and, out in the parking lot, our RV motorhome, our Roadtrek eTrek.
I brought it up to the designer folks at Bronner's. Could they come up with a way to decorate the Roadtrek?
They did… as you can see in the accompanying video.
When the Roadtrek is in motion, some of the decorations need to be stowed. But most of them, thanks to suction cups and those little plastic tie downs, can be solidly affixed.
The only problem I saw is that the Roadtrek decorations inspired Jennifer to add more still more bulbs and ornaments to the boxes of Christmas do-dads we already have at home and which she will soon have me hauling up to also get the house ready for the holiday.
Happy wife. Happy life. And my wife loves Christmas decorating.
Meantime, summer or winter, Bronner's and Frankenmuth make for a great RV trip. There are two fully equipped campgrounds within spitting distance of the store. They are, alas, closed this time of the year. But there are lots of RV spaces in the Bronner's parking lot, although no overnight stays are allowed.
The store is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day and Easter Sunday.
Merry Christmas everyone.