The Hotel du Pont’s lobby gets a facelift. Plus, UD’s Academy of Lifelong Learning gets new life (and a new name), volunteers send the right stuff to soldiers overseas, and go behind the scenes at Ronny’s Christmas Wonderland.
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For 40 years, Ronny’s Garden World has presented its Christmas Wonderland—the biggest holiday shop in the state. You wouldn’t believe the amount of work it takes to pull it off.
Next time you walk into the Christmas Wonderland at Ronny’s Garden World in Smyrna, think about the folks who have to decorate all 37 artificial trees—taking four hours apiece—starting in July. Or owners Brenda Metts and Donna Staley, who have to start planning for next Christmas before this Christmas is even a memory.
“We do the orders in January, start taking shipments in June and start putting it together at the beginning of July,” Metts says. “Christmas is almost year-round for us.”
For 40 years in the same location, the folks at Ronny’s have transformed the popular garden center into Delaware’s version of the North Pole—a Christmas shop that carries everything holiday-related, from live trees to tiny villages to model railroads.
Artificial trees are big sellers, as are the Le Max Christmas Village collection, custom bows and wreaths.
Ronny’s carries a large selection of personalized ornaments, including blown-glass ornaments, by Annalee and Buyers’ Choice. Shoppers will also find ornaments with NFL and University of Delaware sports themes, outdoor garden flags, tinsel, ribbons and wreaths, and garland made with live greens.
Longtime customers will notice that fiber-optic table trees are back this year after a short absence, and Ronny’s will carry a new product: hand-painted, keepsake glass balls by Heart Gifts by Teresa.
The main Christmas room actually opened the weekend after Labor Day weekend. Work outside began after Halloween. One would figure Metts might get a little tired of Christmas after doing the same routine year after year.
“I’ll tell you what I get tired of,” she says, laughing. “Moving a box from point A to point B to point C to point D before it ever gets to where it’s going. Other than that, I’m fine.”
For more, visit ronnys.com.