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December 23, 2021

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, 1952

The Christmas classic “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” was released in 1952. This family was right on trend with their holiday card that year!

(Photo courtesy of Barbara Larson)
“This is a Christmas card we made with the help of my husband’s uncle Fred, an amateur photographer. It was taken in 1952 when our daughter, Susan, was 3, and son, Dana, was 2. The expressions on their faces show how really astonished they were to see “Mommy kissing Santa Claus”—my husband, Jack. This was around the time the song was so popular.”
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” is a Christmas song with music and lyrics by British songwriter Tommie Connor and first recorded by Jimmy Boyd in 1952. The song has since been covered by many artists, with The Ronettes version from 1963 being one of the most famous cover versions.

The original recording by Jimmy Boyd, recorded on July 15, 1952, when he was 13 years old, reached No. 1 on the Billboard pop singles chart in December 1952, and on the Cash Box chart at the beginning of the following year. It later reached Number 3 in the UK Charts when issued there in November 1953. The song was commissioned by Saks Fifth Avenue to promote the store’s Christmas card for the year, which featured an original sketch by artist Perry Barlow, who drew for The New Yorker for many decades.

Riverside-area singer and actor Jimmy Boyd poses for a photo circa 1952. (Photo: Michael Ochs, Archives/Getty Images)

The song describes a scene where a child walks downstairs from his bedroom on Christmas Eve to see his mom kissing “Santa Claus” under the mistletoe. The lyric concludes with the child wondering how his father will react on hearing of the kiss, unaware of the implication that Santa Claus is merely his father in a costume.


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