Visions of Sugar Plums Since 1894

Winter outside

Our mill has processed hundreds of wool bedding orders the past month and we were delighted to learn that many of these sales were in fact gifts that would end up under Christmas trees across the country this December 25th.

We are humbled and honored that so many families choose our bedding to give the gift of great sleep.  These “presents” of wooly goodness got us thinking about how Christmas gifts and traditions have changed since our mill first opened in 1894.

Christmas became a federal holiday in the United States a mere 24 years before the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill opened its doors.

The first documented appearance of a White House Christmas tree was in 1889. Christmas trees of this era were adorned with nuts, strings of popcorn or beads, oranges, lemons, candies and home-made trinkets. The late 1890’s saw the beginning of more refined glass ornaments and balls in bright colors, tin cut in fun shapes and wax angels with spun glass wings.

Children awoke on Christmas mornings in the late 1800’s hoping to find Edison's Phonograph Doll (a 22-inch doll that featured a removable phonograph that played a single nursery rhyme) or perhaps a Ithaca Kitty which was a stuffed animals of sorts.

While these gifts were for the wealthiest children of the time, most American kiddies were thrilled with a delicious orange and perhaps a board game that would allow for hours of family fun.

The team at the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill hopes that whatever you find under your Christmas tree this year brings you great joy that can only be surpassed by the spirit of the season!

Click here to give the gift of good sleep 

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Further Reading

Video May Have Killed the Radio Star (but not the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill)

Video May Have Killed the Radio Star (but not the Frankenmuth Woolen Mill)

Our latest video blog is a 6 minute tour of the history of our mill from 1894 through today. Thank you to PBS and Destination Michigan for featuring us!


"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."

The first week of July 1776, was a busy and exciting one for our nation's Founding Fathers. July 1st started the debate and revisions of a documen...