There are lots of classic holiday songs that people enjoy around this time of year.
But one of those classics didn’t get a warm welcome when it was first released.
In fact, it caused a scandal and almost got banned!
The song is called “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” and it was first released in 1952.
Now, if you think about the premise of the song, you can probably see how this all happened.
The narrator is a kid who, by their own admission, sneaks “down the stairs to have a peep” (!)
And the singer/peeper spots the mother of the house kissing someone in a Santa Claus suit, and starts wondering what dear old Dad would make of the situation.
When 13 year old Jimmy Boyd recorded the song, it hit number one on the Billboard charts in December 1952, selling some two million copies in less than ten weeks.
But not everyone loved it.
Some religious groups were furious at the insinuation of any improper relationship between a married woman and Kris Kringle, especially on what was supposed to be a solemn and moving religious holiday.
And when they spoke out, a few big market radio stations actually banned the song; they didn’t want to get into the middle of the controversy.
Eventually Jimmy Boyd went before church leaders to explain the actual premise of the song.
Though the lyrics don’t say it outright, it’s actually Dad in the Santa Claus suit, and that’s why Mom is kissing him and tickling his beard.
“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” has an unreliable narrator!
Boyd’s explanation put an end to the controversy, and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” has been recorded over and over again.
And it still gets played on the radio.
Back in 2021, people on Reddit were posting the worst Christmas gifts they’d ever received.
One person posted about how their dad, as a kid, loved drumming on pots, pans, basically anything with a surface.
So for Christmas the parents of this aspiring drummer got him… a guitar.
Which, of course, he turned over and drummed on.
Jimmy Boyd: 1939-2009 (Chicago Tribune)