A Michigan Town That Honors Jesus’ Birth

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When Ray and I were in Michigan recently, we spent a morning in Frankenmuth. We drove into town under a German welcome. It was my third visit and Ray’s first. I enjoyed introducing him to one of my favorite places and finally learning something about it myself.

In the five and a half years I have been writing to you, I have shared a photo from my first visit three times. Today makes four. Back in 1992, while I was still a worried and uptight homeschooling mama, we got a taste of homeschool freedom when Ray attended a seminar near Detroit. The children and I tagged along. One day we visited a small historic village in a city park. The next day we had “school” in its one-room schoolhouse. Another day we drove to Frankenmuth.

Our children John, Mary Evelyn, and Bethany in Frankenmuth, 1991

Many years later, during the first year after we founded Notgrass History, our family was in Detroit again, this time for a homeschool convention. One day our girls and I went on a second visit to Frankenmuth.

This time I learned that Lutheran minister August Craemer and fourteen other German immigrants from Franconia, Bavaria, settled in the area in 1845. Today it is a major tourist attraction. To enhance its appeal to visitors, many businesses are in a German style —

— even Dollar General!

The fifty-year-old Cheese Haus is celebrating a different building from when I was there before.

Look at these giant hunks of celebratory cheese!

Frankenmuth celebrates the birth of Jesus each December. The decorations are tasteful and beautiful.

Not far from the town’s entrance is this beautiful nativity display beside the Cass River.

I am grateful that Frankenmuth honors Jesus’ birth. Tomorrow I plan to tell you about a fourteen-year-old Frankenmuth native who inspired his hometown to celebrate their German heritage and who inspired people from around the world to honor Jesus’ birth.

Frankenmuth carolers stand around the fountain.

The Christmas season is a wonderful time to give children opportunities to honor Jesus in their hearts. I hope you will take advantage of your own homeschooling freedom to do just that.

. . . sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts,
always being ready to make a defense
to everyone who asks you
to give an account for the hope that is in you,
yet with gentleness and reverence;
and keep a good conscience
so that in the thing in which you are slandered,
those who revile your good behavior in Christ
will be put to shame.
1 Peter 3:15


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