I’ve suggested different places that you could take your kids that lend themselves to a good conversation. Here’s one that you might have heard about, but might not know the history.
If you’ve traveled anywhere in the Midwest, you’ve probably seen a sign for Bronners, the CHRISTmas Wonderland. (Well, actually there are more than 70 signs around the country – one way south by Disney World.) Maybe you’ve passed right by, Bronners, not really wanting to visit a Christmas store complex spread out on 27 acres … or maybe you’ve stopped and know what I’m talking about.
Bronners is located in the thumb area of Michigan, in the German tourist town of Frankenmuth. But Bronners isn’t just any Christmas store. First of all, it’s the world’s largest year-round Christmas store, but more importantly it is founded on the true meaning of Christmas. Even the sign on the front of their building says: Enjoy CHRISTmas, it’s HIS Birthday; Enjoy LIFE, it’s HIS Way” When Wally Bronner opened his first store back in 1945, he was determined that it would always be about Christ. And through several expansions to today’s store (1.7 football fields in size) Christ has remained at the center.
Wally Bronner grew up in Frankenmuth, attending the Lutheran Church. If you read his story (available on the web), you’ll learn that his life was dedicated to using his talent for the Lord. Wally Bronner has passed away, but his wife and children (and grandson) continue to run the business and like Wally, himself, are dedicated to keeping Christ in Christmas.
The gospel is spread in many ways. You might not think of a store full of Christmas ornaments as being one of those ways. But the gospel message is included (tract form) with every purchase – whether at the store or online. And that’s a lot! Some weekends they have as many as 50,000 visitors with more than two million visitors a year.
Included on the gospel tract is a link to a Bible study course from Crossway and also invitation to contact them if you’d like to learn more about the Bible or want to find a church.
In addition, there is a link to a site where someone is available to answer any questions about faith.
So, if you happen to be driving through Michigan, why not stop at Bronners? First of all, it’s a great place to be on hot summer day. Second, your kids will love it – Christmas everywhere you look (including a parking lot with larger than life figures).
But best of all, you can show your kids how one family shares the gospel with thousands and thousands of people each year … while selling Christmas ornaments.