Jimmy Boyd was a 13-year old boy when he recorded "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus." After a popular appearance on a television show in Los Angles and later winning The Al Jarvis Talent Show, he signed a record deal and began to appear regularly on Hollywood on Television, a show Al Jarvis co-hosted with a young Betty White.
The song would reach #1 on the Billboard pop singles chart in December of 1952. Christmas songs are generally written for only a few reasons: celebrating the birth of Jesus, a longing for home (made especially popular during World War II) or to be with a loved one for the holiday or a seasonal jingle used to move product. The Jimmy Boyd smash was the latter. It was written by British songwriter Tommie Connor on commission by Saks Fifth Avenue to promote the store's annual (and quite collectible) Christmas card, which included an original drawing by Perry Barlow.
The song sold more than 3 million copies that year but it was not completely received with open arms. When first released, the record was condemned by the Roman Catholic Church of Boston on the grounds that it mixed sex with Christmas. This led to a meeting between Boyd and the Archdiocese to explain the song and show that it truly was an inncocent song. After the meeting, the Archdiocese decided to lift the ban.
The Christmas classic has since gone on to be recorded by artists such as Spike Jones, Amy Winehouse, John Mellencamp, Mitch Miller, John Prine, Molly Bee, Bobby Sherman, Andy Williams, Reba McEntire, The Beverley Sisters and The Jackson 5.