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CHRISTMAS IN THE CORRIDOR: Tannenbaum Forest shines bright

A German Christmas pyramid stands tall above the trees in Tannenbaum Forest. (Photo: Joe Huisinga, CBS2/FOX28)

A step inside Amana’s Festhalle barn will have you lost in the lights and cheer of Tannenbaum Forest.

“I think the experience is kind of magical,” says David Rettig, Executive Director of the Amana Colonies Convention and Visitors Bureau.

More than 40 trees fill Tannenbaum forest decorated to celebrate the season.

“I think a lot of people are surprised that we have so many live trees,” says volunteer Elisa Ryan. “We spend the time to find all the perfect trees for every merchant.”

From cheese to teacups each of the trees are decorated a little differently.

Towering above the creative conifers stands a giant Christmas pyramid with or its rotating levels boasting different Christmas decor.

“They are very traditional German and people are just amazed at it, the kids come in and they sit and they just kind of stare at it,” says Rettig.

As you stroll through the display you can grab a cup of cocoa to warm up if the glow of the lights doesn’t do it for you.

“You don't seem to feel the cold when you're looking at all this you know it's beautiful,” says Sushma Govindaswamy who stopped during a visit from Saint Louis.

All of the event proceeds go to a good cause.

“We're doing it to raise money for the children's hospital I mean that’s very satisfying, that’s really a nice part of Tannenbaum forest,” says Rettig.

For the full Christmas experience, you need to explore beyond the barn door.

“It's really unique to walk from shop to shop and enjoy the ambiance that is Amana at Christmas time,” says Rettig

A connection with a place and people that can be hard to describe.

“In Amana we call it gemutlichkeit, adds Rettig, “the German word can’t be translated into English in one word but it's this feeling that you get of warmth and coziness and a feeling of belonging.”

The last weekend to enjoy Tannenbaum Forest is December 16th-18th.

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