It was in 2019 when I got the call. “Aileen, you HAVE to come out and meet this couple in the store! They are incredible. You WON’T be able to miss them!” That was when I first met Jon and Gabi, part of the gang who’ve dubbed themselves “The Franken-bunch.” And in fact, Connie was right! There was NO WAY I was going to miss Jon and Gabi who had come to Bronner’s dressed in their Christmas cheer gear! “The Franken-bunch” gang’s story is an unlikely and inspiring tale of how strangers at the World’s Largest CHRISTmas Store became the greatest of friends!
In fact, not only could I not miss Jon and Gabi, but I RECOGNIZED them from their 2018 Instagram photo that they tagged Bronner’s in! Now I was getting to meet them in person. Even better? Getting to hear their story and tagging along while they caught up with the rest of “The Franken-bunch”!
The Story Behind “The Franken-Bunch”
Meet Cute – For Friends
Typically when people are being noticed for what they are wearing while they are shopping, it’s not necessarily their intention. But Jon and Gabi’s story is different. They have been coming to Bronner’s in their Christmas cheer gear for 7 years to share their joy with others, too! While Jon and Gabi were sharing their story with me, their friends Bruce and Joy (coincidentally enough!) had caught up with them.
Bruce told me how they first met the young couple in 2017. “I had taken a picture of them … but from behind”, he laughed. Bruce told his friends they had to track the pair down in the store. It was quite the adventure as their friends Jeff and Vicki ran all around Bronner’s, looking for Jon and Gabi on a wild “Where’s Waldo?” chase.
The 6 ended up meeting and grabbing dinner at Zehnder’s after. To which Gabi said, “I texted friends and family to let them know where we were going and what we were wearing … just in case!”
A Friendship Sealed
Now a Bronner’s reunion in Frankenmuth has become an annual tradition and laugh fest as they surprise each other with their best Christmas Cheer gear every year! And this year, I got to be along for the ride!
In 2018, Jeff, Vicki, Bruce and Joy were honored to receive their hand-delivered wedding invitations from Jon and Gabi. (They were celebrating their first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs. the year I met them!)
But while I was hearing about the group’s friendship, Jeff and Vicki had quietly slipped off. Shortly after, they popped back in view where they shared the grand reveal of their own Christmas cheer gear!
But they weren’t the only ones with a surprise up their sleeves! To celebrate their friendship, Jon and Gabi had gotten each couple a personalized ornament that couldn’t have been more perfect!
There are good things happening all around us when you look around!
Jon shares, “👏👏👏👏❤️ Thank you for telling our story. And to everyone who reads this, remember to be kind and have compassion with everyone you come in counter with because you never know what someone is going through. Show love as GOD continues to show love to us everyday 🙏🏽”
All I Want For Christmas Is More Cheer … Gear!
Dear Santa …
What the world needs now, is even more CHEER … gear!😂
Inspired by the joy that the Franken-bunches shenanigans brought to our Wonderland, we’re inviting you to dress up in your best Christmas cheer gear and share a photo with us!
Need some ideas?! Bronner’s has the perfect accessories to take your Christmas cheer gear to the next level! Alternatively, consider going out of the box. Customize your look by following our DIY Ugly Christmas Sweater (with Bonus Tie) for hidden surprises that are sure to dill-ight! (You’ll just have to check it out to see what we mean😂)
Join The #ChristmasCheer Movement
As part of our “12 Days of Christmas In July,” we’re inviting you to join the #ChristmasCheer movement! Dress in your Christmas best (for summer) and spread some Christmas cheer wherever you are! We hope you’ll share a photo with us by tagging @BronnersChristmas on Facebook and Instagram, or @BronnersXmas on Twitter!
Check out what other fun Santa has got in his bag for Bronner’s “12 Days of Christmas in July“!