This is how Elvis celebrates Christmas at Graceland!
After London, New York and Los Angeles, it's off to Memphis Tennessee just before Christmas on the 4th Advent today. We visit Graceland again and see how the “King” celebrated Christmas.
Here you can learn a lot about the Christmas traditions at Graceland, which still exist today.
Chapter 01 - Our (crazy) trip to Graceland
Since we were too late to book a domestic flight from New York to Memphis and back again (it would have been almost as expensive as the transatlantic flight at the time), we decided to take a car… The whole crazy story is now exclusive here 🙂
Yes, getting a domestic flight at short notice is a difficult endeavor. Getting anything under $ 600 per person was absolutely out of the question, so inventiveness was required. Our route New York City -> Memphis / Tennessee should be an adventure and that in one day. Since we still wanted to go to a friend in Saint Louis anyway, we didn't have to spend a day in another hotel, because we didn't have the hotel until January 2nd. booked.
Quickly (supposedly all) states we have to drive through for offline navigation, packed on our mobile phone and off we go.
After the New Year's Eve cruise, which we will report on later, we went to the hotel, 3 or 4 hours of sleep and at 5:00 a.m. to La Guardia airport where our booked rental car from Budget was waiting. At $ 350 it was definitely a bargain compared to a flight.
Then the journey began, first through the actually quite quiet NYC, New Yersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and finally to Saint Louis in Missouri. Usually a drive of 15 hours and around 1,000 miles, but what is normal.
Unfortunately, I didn't take two things into account. 1. The route is almost entirely via toll roads, which we actually wanted to avoid. But this led to the second problem, because the journey should take us for a few miles through the state of West Virginia. Just stupid that I just hadn't downloaded this state.
Well, what can I say after about 20 hours of driving and a few liters of cold water on our faces, we were finally at our destination.
A few hours later we were back “on the road” to Graceland, where we actually arrived safely with our good friend from Saint Louis. Then it went first ... not to bed, but straight on. After a few hours Elvis, then to Memphis to Beale Street to try delicious southern cuisine and then finally to bed.
So my tip: If you want to take on such a route, then definitely with a stop in the middle, which we did on the way back to Newark 😉
Chapter 02 - Christmas traditions in the Presley home
Elvis loved the Christmas season more than anything and that's exactly what you can see when you drive past the house.
Inside it looks a bit more like Christmas, because there is a Christmas tree in every room. These are still decorated by hand today. The design of the trees is different every year, so you can almost see on photos which were taken in the same year. Not only the design of the trees, no, the location changes every year.
In each of the rooms you not only feel the spirit of Elvis, but also the spirit of Christmas from the end of November to January 8th (Elvis' birthday).
If you have not yet visited Graceland, you should definitely do it, because even if you are not an Elvis fan. A really great experience to be here!
Chapter 03 - The whole area shines in full Christmas splendor
Everything you see here in terms of decorations, Elvis bought himself and had it put up every year.
The road to the property, which leads through its “front garden”, is lined with light blue lights, there are 8 small Christmas trees on the house that are illuminated in red at night. On the left side you can see Santa with his reindeer sleigh and the iconic writing “Merry Christmas to All - Elvis”. In the front area on the right side you can see the life-size crib that he had set up for his family.
Elvis loved details, which is why you will not only find a lot of Christmassy in the house, but also all around.
Chapter 04 - A few tips at the end
Finally, there are of course a few insider tips from us.
First of all our hotel tip, which is really worth it! Diagonally across from Graceland is the "Days Inn at Graceland". We can really recommend this motel highly. The price-performance ratio is definitely unique. If you don't want to spend just one day there, you are in good hands here.
The gates to the house open early every morning (between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.). The “Meditation Walk” is open to everyone in the off-season and it is free. You go through the large gate, past the crib, directly to the Meditation Garden. In fact, there are only a few people here at that time, a place of peace and contemplation.