Christmas remembered as special occasion at Graceland - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Anna Marie Hartman

Christmas remembered as special occasion at Graceland

Elvis may have sung about a Blue Christmas, but his holidays were anything but blue at Graceland.

"Christmas was one of his favorite holidays," Angie Marchese, the Director of Archives at Graceland, said in a recent interview. "He just loved all of the lights and the decorating, and I think it was more about the giving that was really important to him."

Including giving to his family....

"Just imagine as Lisa wakes up and comes down, and sees all the stuff that Elvis got her for Christmas, or Santa Claus brought her," Marchese said.
...and giving to his fans...

"It was Elvis' instructions that if someone sent him something, it was his responsibility to keep it and also send a reply so that people knew he received whatever they had sent him," Marchese said.

At Graceland, Elvis was known for loving Christmas decorations, and often told staff members where to put certain items.  He even brought a touch of Hollywood to his Memphis Christmas, lining his driveway with blue lights similar to those he saw at a home while working in California.

"Elvis called his dad and said, 'This is the way I want Graceland's driveway decorated,'" Marchese said. "He described it to him, and he says, 'Plus I'll be home in two days. Think we could have it done by then?'"

Presley's father often joked that he would not be surprised if an airplane landed in the front yard of the Graceland grounds because of the blue lights, and their close proximity to Memphis International Airport.

Inside Graceland, red curtains were hung in place of the typical velvet blue, garland hovered above the entryways, Christmas music filled the rooms, and family fun always came first.

"When they would decorate the tree in the dining room, it always had tinsel on it," Marchese said. "Priscilla was very precise with how she put the tinsel on there, and Elvis would ball it up and throw it on there. Just wherever it landed was where it was."

It seems the King of Rock and Roll always stayed a little boy at heart...especially around the holidays.

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