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CHRISTMAS TREE INN, CHRISTMAS, AZ, 1951

Christmas Tree Inn

Have you ever spent Christmas in Christmas? Christmas, Michigan. How about Easter in Easter, TX? Have you ever been to Santa Claus? Santa Claus, Indiana or Santa Claus, Georgia? Were you ever served Christmas dinner at this week’s slide: Christmas Tree Inn, Santa Claus, Arizona, 1951.

A bullet-nosed Studebaker with suicide doors is parked up front. Tourists pose with the patio furniture. A plywood Christmas tree is strung with lights and a Santa cutout stands on the candy cane striped roof, ready to go down the chimney. Fine food is promoted in neon.

In the late 1930’s a Mr. and Mrs. Douglas began serving lunches and dinners to tourists passing through town. To attract more customers they decorated the house for Christmas and changed the name. Dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Claus, they served up a five-course meal that included reindeer and chicken soup, Mary’s Little Lamb Chops, North Pole Salad and your choice of Stardust or Fairyland Cake for dessert. Ultimately their Christmas themed restaurant inspired the name of the town. But by the 1960s the novelty had worn off and they stopped serving.

I wonder if the house is still standing.

Here’s to you and the Christmas Tree Inn.