Cover image courtesy the Jim Seelen Motel Image Archive
If we could have just one Christmas wish come true this year, do you know what we’d wish for? We’d wish to be able to spend just one more night in the Christmas Motel in Christmas, Michigan.
In the Heart of Michigan’s Vacationland
Built in 1957, the Christmas Motel is located 5 miles west of Munising on Michigan Highway 28 in the small town of Christmas.
Yes, that’s right. The town’s name is Christmas and got its name when a local entrepreneur opened a factory that made Christmas gifts. Today, the town bills itself as a “Vacation Town, Year Round.”
The Christmas Motel was owned and operated by Earl and Helen Senical and featured 10 “modern” units (some with kitchenettes available). Other amenities included a children’s playground, a picnic area, a trout pond, horseshoe pits and shuffleboard.
Along with all of these amenities of the time, the Christmas Motel was also known for its sign. It wasn’t a flashy arrow with chaser lights and a twinkling star on top like Holiday Inn’s Great Sign. Rather, it was a simple box sign painted in red white and green to look like a Christmas present complete with a neon bow and ribbon. Both sides of the sign read “Christmas Motel” in hand painted, mid-century modern fonts with MOTEL in neon as well.
On the motel’s rooftop behind the sign, Santa sat in his sleigh pulled by four of his reindeer. (We’re not sure which reindeer. Maybe Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Vixen, but it’s not clear exactly.)
Indeed, the Christmas Motel really made you feel like every day was Christmas, year round.
Up the Creek
Though it changed hands a couple of times since 1957, the property remained the Christmas Motel until sometime around 2020. That’s around the time new owners bought the motel and changed its name to Paddler’s Inn. Gone are the Santa, his reindeer and the Christmas package sign.
The property has been renovated and amenities at the motel are more modern than they were in 1957. In fact, the inn promises “more than a just a room, but a relaxing experience up north.” Today’s amenities include outdoor firepits for an evening campfire, in room refrigerators, propane grills, free breakfast, and a library. You’ll also get free parking and a 10% discount on kayaking tours, a dinner cruise, and restaurant included with your stay.
The inn is still quaint and it continues to get great reviews on various crowd-sourced review websites, as it should. In fact, if you’re planning to take a road trip or a family vacation through the Upper Peninsula’s “Vacation Wonderland”, we recommend staying here for the old-school motel feels alone. (Reservations can be made here.) However, we’d still like to feel that nostalgic Christmas magic just one more night.
Speaking of the holidays, unfortunately you’ve missed the last day of shipping to get your Stuckey’s gifts and treats by Christmas. However, you can still order all of your favorite Stuckey’s treats just in time for New Year’s Eve.
Have bowlfuls of Stuckey’s flavored nuts, Cheecans and Hunkey Dorey popcorn mix on hand while you count down to the New Year. Of course, our assorted nuts like our 3 Way “NUTS” Gift Box and Mammoth Pecan Tree Gift Tin have flavors to please every reveler’s tastebuds.
You may have missed the Christmas deadline, but don’t miss New Year’s. Order yours today while everything’s still on sale – only from www.stuckeys.com.
Stuckey’s – We’re Make Road Trips (and Holidays) Fun Again!
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!