Christmas Nostalgia: all I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth

This week in my little corner of the universe I got walloped with a big dose of nostalgia. Every year the Rotary Club comes up our street collecting for Christmas. They have Father Christmas on the back of a float, Christmas music, lots of lights and a small army of charity collectors waving collecting tins on peoples’ doorsteps. I always like to contribute as one year my late mother-in-law was surprised with a gift from the Rotary Club which thrilled her no end! It’s nice to think that my little donation will help make somebody very happy this Christmas. 

I grew up in a very musical household, both parents played the guitar as did all four of my brothers. My grandmother could also sing and play the mandolin. Sadly none of that rubbed off on me and I am essentially tuneless, but I grew up listening to the songs my parents sang and they knew many of the songs popular in the 1940s and 50s. One tune we would hear was ‘All I want for Christmas (is my two Front Teeth)’, I suspect, although not confirmed, that it was sung to each of my siblings in turn as they lost their baby teeth and then the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, too.

Back to this year, and yesterday I was surprised when the Rotary Club member knocked on my door, waving his tin, for it was still November (the 30th, but still . . .). I donated as usual and ran out to get a quick snap of the event – and even managed a brief recording, take a listen . . . 


The song ‘All I want for Christmas (is my Two Front Teeth)’ was being played and it was a blast from the past. 

The song was written in 1944 by Donald Yetter Gardner (20 August 1913 – 15 September 2004), a music teacher and textbook editor. He had to select a song for the second grade children to sing at a Christmas event. He asked each of the children in turn and they all began ‘all I want for Christmas . . . ’, after making them laugh, he then noticed that 16 out of 22 children were missing one or more of their front teeth and this made them lisp.

In 1948, the song was plucked from the school pageant by Witmark Music Company. It was recorded for Christmas by Spike Jones and his City Slickers, with suitably childlike vocals by George Rock. It reached number one in the pop music charts in 1949. 

I’ve attached three versions to this post, the original Spike Jones version, the Nat King Cole version and one with Michael Buble and Elmo, because doesn’t everyone love a bit of Buble?

Spike Jones and his City Slickers (1948)

Nat King Cole version

Michael Buble and Elmo


Do you love or loathe novelty Christmas songs?

Do any songs bring back nostalgic memories of the Christmases of your childhood?



9 thoughts on “Christmas Nostalgia: all I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth

  1. Love or Loath? I can only think of one other novelty songs: Grandma got run over by a reindeer… I would say I’d enjoy hearing this once per season. Most Christmas songs fall into the loath category eventually, especially since my daughter believes Christmas song season begins on Halloween night after the trick or treaters are home for the evening. My absolute favorite Christmas song is God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen by the Barenaked Ladies, That song is beautifully sung.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How fun it must have been growing up in a musical family. I have absolutely No musical talent but my daughters inherited the ability to sing from their father. They use to sing Disney tunes while working together to clean the kitchen after dinner. I miss those days.
    Believe it or not the Christmas song that chokes me up is “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas”. When my daughters were young my mom was driving in the car with the two youngest. That song came on the radio and the girls started singing. Just as they were beginning the word hippopotamus my mom hit a bump making the word hip sound like a hiccup. They all laughed until they cried. My mom use to love to tell this story and tease my daughters about it. Now when I hear the song I think of mom and how much she loved her Granddaughters.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I had never heard that song! I’m going to make eveeryone I know listen to it! It’s wonderful! What lovely memories you have of your mum. That’s so special. We weren’t really a Disney household – Dad and Mum were fans of country so we knew a lot of country songs! I had older siblings pointing us in the direction of pop songs who managed to just about turn us into normal kids though! Haha 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. My parents were country fans as well and that’s what we grew up listening to. It was my cousins that introduced us to rock and roll so we turned out “normal” as well. LOL
        Of course it is our local country station that plays that song around Christmas.

        Liked by 1 person

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