It really is the most wonderful time of the year. In general people seem happier, full of the spirit of the season. The business of Christmas is attacked with purpose, yet its peace and joy are felt within. The social calendar is full and tthe vast majority will be anticipated with a festive glee. Some more than others.
This weekend my guy and I are very happy to be heading out to a favourite destination of ours. The lovely Bavarian town of Frankenmuth, Michigan has been on the road trip list virtually every year for decades, going back to when my husband and I first met.
In those days, the charm and history were less an attraction than the annual summer beer festival. With the tunnel-vision of youth when the opportunity for a dash of fun presented itself, our focus was on socializing and partying. A group of us, numbering anywhere from a dozen to 20, headed out, the Friday morning of the second weekend in June, some in tandem, others too eager to wait, leading the way.
From then until Sunday afternoon when the parade had finally passed us by, we ate, drank and made merry. There was a bit of shopping and a plethora of laughter. It was the best of times: Monday often the worst of times. But we were young, exuberant and healed quickly. We would dissect the moments that stood out, rehash the events and think of more to come. Thoughts of the next year's visit were already taking shape.
The revelation, of course, had proved accurate and the new generation enjoyed, not just the party, but the town.
Of particular interest was the gigantic Christmas store, Bronners. With wide-eyed wonder the little ones gazed at the animated displays that replicated everything from Santa's workshop to a winter wonderland. If magic was anywhere it was in the air there as we grownups looked anew through the eyes of a child. With sparkling stars dangling from above and cheery snowmen smiling a welcome, the youngsters bedazzled.
The next inevitable conclusion then for my husband and me was that we must return for a weekend during the Christmas season. How much more perfect would it be to visit this fantastical place during the holidays. So much more so that it eventually replaced the summer trip. I recall one trip in particular, when a friend accompanied us in the hopes that her little one's growing disbelief in Santa would be assuaged by the enchantment. And indeed it did. Old St. Nick worked his charm on the little sceptic, and let her hold on to the fantasy for a few more years.
There is nothing more marvelous than being with children at this time of year. That's what makes this weekend's trip even more exciting. The tradition is now being introduced to a third generation, as our daughter and adorable grandchildren have been making the Christmas trip with us. And the hope is for the rest of our family to jump on board in subsequent years.
With the beauty that is a child at Christmas in mind, please enjoy these wonderful pictures from iPHOTOS.com
iPHOTOS.com Children at Christmas