I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
A friend asked about Christmas traditions in our family. When the children were younger, annually on Christmas Eve, Dad slipped out of the house, put on a Santa costume and returned to hand out a few presents.
This is the first photo that I found in response to the question do you have any photos? Her first reaction, “awe ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus.’ Just like the song, you should use that as the caption.” It certainly captures the moment, and hence this post.
My other Christmas Memories posts include:
- Memories of Christmas 1955
- Bon-Ton Christmas Memories from 1950s
- Glass Shiny-Brite Christmas ornaments’ York County connection
- The Real Santa visits York in 1957
- Santa flight that started a York tradition
- Menu-Ette Christmas Window Artwork
I know that Dad always enjoyed playing the part of Santa; telling us he’d return later and to make sure some milk and cookies were set out. My youngest sister Paula started to question why Dad is never around when Santa showed up. The following year I was elected to wear the Santa costume, Paula recognized me immediately.
This is a photo of my parents, less Santa costume. Harold L. Smith and Esther L. Smith are in the living room of our home on Ridgewood Road during 1963.
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From a very young age, I recalled hearing many different recording artists sing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” however was not sure who was first until I did a little searching. British songwriter Tommie Connor originally wrote the music and lyrics for the song in 1952. The original title is more accurately “I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus,” although Mommy appears to be more popular.
The song was commissioned as an advertising tune to match a drawing in the Saks Fifth Avenue 1952 Christmas card. Perry Barlow drew a child creeping downstairs on Christmas Eve to see Mom kissing Dad, who wore a Santa Claus costume.
After the tune was recorded by 13 year-old Jimmy Boyd, it was issued as a single record. The single surprised everybody; it rose to No. 1 on the Billboard pop singles chart in December 1952. Here are the popular lyrics:
I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night.
She didn’t see me creep
Down the stairs to have a peep;
She thought that I was tucked up in my bedroom fast asleep.
Then, I saw Mommy tickle Santa Claus
Underneath his beard so snowy white;
Oh, what a laugh it would have been
If Daddy had only seen
Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night.
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