AN AMERICAN IMPORTED CHRISTMAS, AND OTHER ODD NOTES FROM ROUTE 66
Well, another Christmas season is upon us and once again those who suffer from acute and debilitating hypersensitivity are declaring war on tradition. Meanwhile, here on Route 66, we are happy to report that the season with its odd blending of kitch, solemnity, fun, and cultural traditions that make an American celebration of Christmas quite unique is in full swing.
In Tucumcari, the Christmas village display tinged with the neon of the Blue Swallow Motel provides ideal incentive for a delightful winter weekend getaway. As the city has numerous motels, including two roadside treasures (Motel Safari and the Blue Swallow Motel) you are assured there will be room at the inn.
If Tucumcari is to far from home then perhaps Joplin is a bit closer. This city is also embracing the holiday season with colorful window displays.
Another idea is to combine gift shopping with your winter weekend excursion on Route 66. For those who reside in the area of St. Louis or its enviorns my suggestion would be a visit to Connie’s Shoppe coupled to a stay at the Wagon Wheel Motel and dinner and Missouri Hicks.
Rich Henry’s Rabbit Ranch in Staunton, Illinois could easily serve as an excuse for a weekend getaway. Or you could just peruse Rich’s unique gift shop on line.
For those who reside on the west side of the community that is Route 66 you have at least three great options for a weekend getaway as well as some unique gift ideas, the Wigwam Motel in Rialto, the Route 66 museum in Barstow (with an excellent on line gift shop), or 66 to Cali on Santa Monica Pier where the specialty is American made products.
Here in Kingman the season is celebrated with a Christmas parade through the historic district. There are also some rather unique light displays including one that transforms our historic locomotive into a polar express. And here too we have a wide array of motels and hotels including two neon trimmed treasures; the venerable Hilltop Motel and the recently refurbished El Trovatore Motel.
For those who insist on transforming the holiday into an all inclusive, secular, sterile celebration as cold as the front bumper on a ’67 Chevy on a frosty December morning in Chicago, there is still reason to celebrate. On Christmas day, 1873, Louis Joseph Chevrolet was born in Switzerland, an event that adds credence to the argument that Chevrolet is an import.
On a more serious note, the Christmas season provides an excellent opportunity for supporting the mom and pop shops that are the life blood of Route 66. What better gift can you get for the fan of the double six in your life than a souvenir that will keep them warm, help them plan the next road trip, transform their office, or keep the memory of the last trip alive?
The Blue Swallow Motel gift shop has a wide array of gift ideas from books to sweat shirts. Even better, they are offering free shipping until December 22.
There are two books we never travel without. These would be the dining and lodging guide, and the wonderful EZ 66 Guide for Travelers penned by Jerry McClanahan that ensures you will be able to decipher that often confusing course of Route 66 between Chicago and Santa Monica. As both are available through the National Historic Route 66 Federation, here is an opportunity to support to a wonderful organization and inspire thoughts of an adventure on legendary Route 66.
The Rocky Mountain General Store at Legends of America is a veritable treasure trove of gift ideas. Barbecue branding iron kit anyone?
Then there are books penned by Jim Hinckley (The Route 66 Encyclopedia, Ghost Towns of Route 66, Ghost Towns of the Southwest, Backroads of Arizona, Route 66 Backroads) that are available through this blog. We also have some unique and colorful Route 66 souvenirs, and a wide array of our award winning photography to dress up the office, den, or man cave.
Whether you choose on line shopping or braving the crowds, a weekend getaway to restore some sanity or extreme trip planning to fuel the dream of adventure in 2013, savor each day of the holiday season. Let the magic fill your spirit and unleash the inner child. In short, take a deep breath, lighten up a bit, and have some fun.