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Department 56

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Since the kids were born, Steve started the tradition of picking out Department 56 Dicken’s Village Christmas houses for each of them and himself. Between the kids and Steve, we now have over 50 houses. In last few years we have expanded the tradition to spending the day in Frankenmuth picking out the houses at Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland , touring the city, and then closing with a yummy chicken dinner at the Bavarian Inn . We keep all the houses boxed, until the day after Thanksgiving when we start setting up for the Christmas holiday. It’s wonderful watching how much thought the kids put into setting up their villages and caring about the many details of how it will look. One of the best parts of the process is what we call the “tree draft.” This is where we set up all the trees and accessories and the kids make their picks, in a fantasy football style draft. The first overall selection is always a big deal. It is fun watching them think about which accessory or tree to get and how it will fit into their village. I’m so happy to be able to join in such a fun tradition, and it is one I hope the kids will continue as they become adults.

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