See Elvis Presley’s First-Ever Lawn Ornament Purchased for Christmas at Graceland

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

The King knew how to do Christmas right. For his first Christmas at Graceland, he purchased a Santa and sleigh yard decoration that reads, “Merry Christmas to All, Elvis,” which you can see from the road.

Known for being an avid Christmas-lover, Elvis always made sure to put his decorations up early. In addition, they stayed up through his birthday on Jan 8, which Graceland continues to this day.

Presley moved into Graceland in the spring of 1957. To celebrate Christmas in his new home, Presley wanted to make sure he did it big. On Dec 12, Presley bought the lawn ornament for $300 from the Bain Sign Company.

Pilots Could See Graceland’s Lights from the Sky

Elvis even made sure the driveway was Christmas-ready: he lined it with blue lights (a nod to his “Blue Christmas” tune.) His father, Vernon, joked that airplane pilots might get confused by the blue lights and attempt to land at Graceland.

The decorating didn’t stop there. Inside the home, Elvis also used beautiful red drapes to decorate his windows. He decorated his white nylon Christmas tree with red ornaments. Of course, Elvis kicked it up a notch: the tree even rotated on a stand as it played Christmas carols.

In the 1960s, Elvis traded the Santa and sleigh sign for a Nativity scene and aluminum Christmas trees.

In 1968, after the birth of Lisa-Marie Presley, the holiday became much more special for the family. For her first Christmas, Elvis’ father visited the home dressed as Santa Claus. The King of Rock and Roll made sure to spoil Lisa Marie every Christmas. He would buy her stuffed animals, fur coats, and even a diamond ring.

In addition to his family, Elvis loved to give to those in need. The King was especially charitable during the Christmas season. It began in December 1957, when he donated $1,050 so that all students at his alma mater, Humes High School, could attend the annual E. H. Crump Memorial Football Game for the Blind in Memphis. He gave to more than 50 charities in the Memphis area throughout his life, including the Salvation Army.