The History of American Christmas

The History of American Christmas as a company can be reviewed as three chapters: Origins, Growth, and Present & Future. While the present and future of the company are entirely our focus, it is helpful to understand our roots which are the foundation of our dynamic organization. 

Today and The Future: 2017-Present

The 2017 agreement that led to American Christmas becoming a part of the MK illumination family traces its roots back to a chance meeting at a 2012 trade show, between MK Illumination CEO Klaus Mark, and then American Christmas CEO Fred Schwam. At that meeting during Christmasworld in Frankfurt Germany, a business relationship, and eventually personal friendship developed between the two companies and men. Fast forward to October of 2017, and American Christmas officially became part of the MK Illumination family. Founded in Innsbruck Austria in a garage in 1996, MK Illumination has grown to now feature over 1200 employees worldwide, including the 70 full-time employees at the American Christmas site in Mount Vernon NY.

Growth - the Middle Years: 1988-2017

After 20-years of successful management under his father, Marvin (more on him later), Fred Schwam helped take American Christmas to a new level over his near 30-year term as CEO. During that time Fred instilled discipline, creativity and persistence throughout all levels of the company, which predictably led to extraordinary growth over that time.

Origins: 1968-1988

It's perhaps not surprising that a company that depends heavily on artistry and creative design and vision for its very existence was founded by a man who possessed prodigious talent for all three. Marvin Schwam, initially began by selling artificial plants and flowers, before coming up with the idea to offer Christmas decorating services for those plants; thus the birth of American Christmas. A talented artist with extraordinary creative ability, Marvin sold the growing company to an intermediary, only to immediately orchestrate a deal for his son Fred to purchase American Christmas back.

The MK Illumination Family at a Glance

In addition to American Christmas, the US footprint of MK Illumination includes Universal Statues LLC, Christmas in America LLC & Lumagica LLC.

All together, MK Illumination operates 40 offices, 6 factories and 2 warehouses around the world; including the 110,000 square foot facility in Mount Vernon NY.