We’ve now entered the 2nd decade of the War on Christmas, making this the longest made-up war in modern times. Elves and reindeer wander the barren wastelands in diasporic exile, searching for a home. Meanwhile, these abandoned Santa villages serve as grim reminders of this brutal, unending conflict.
From May 28th, 1955 to March 1st, 1998, Santa’s Village in Skyforest, California by Lake Arrowhead was once one of the most popular theme parks in California. It opened a month before Disneyland, but the years have not been so kind to this haven of kitsch. Now it lays abandoned, lonely and forgotten. Like all those Yuletide wishes you made under the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree.
Santa Claus Acres in Golden Valley, Arizona was once a bastion of joy and good cheer to travelers along historic Route 66. The town even had the support of science fiction writer Robert Heinlein who wrote a short story about the place in Cliff and Colonies, in which “he describes a diet-shattering gourmet feast served by Mrs. Claus, in reality a Mrs. Douglas, who ran The Santa Claus Inn restaurant in the 1940s.” Santa Claus Acres began declining in popularity during the 1970s, and was ultimately abandoned. Today it’s a desolate, vandalized and lonely ghost town. If you venture down the Mother Road, be sure to stop off at this quirky roadside wonder.
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