Elvis Presley’s private Graceland Christmas was ‘out of this world’

Elvis Presley: Upstairs of Graceland ‘like he just left’ says expert

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During his two decades at Graceland, Elvis Presley would put on a huge private party for his inner circle at the Tennessee mansion. The house would be beautifully decorated with a Christmas tree in almost every room, not to mention the stunning festive lights on the outside that are still put up to this day. Even weeks before Christmas Eve, his close family would be getting very excited about the intimate and exclusive event.

One of them is Danny Smith, who grew up as a childhood friend of Lisa Marie at Graceland. He’s the son of Billy Smith, Elvis’ cousin and the last surviving original Memphis Mafia member.

On his YouTube channel, Memphis Mafia Kid, Danny shared with glee: “It was out of this world. It was like anticipation for the whole month, even after Thanksgiving I just couldn’t wait for Christmas Eve at Graceland.”

Upon arrival inside Graceland in their stylish but relaxed clothes, there would be tons of festive food laid out informally around the mansion for guests to enjoy.

Danny said of playing with Lisa Marie: “We had so much fun. We’d run all over Graceland and had everything you could think of to eat. Sweets, candy, all kinds of stuff.”

Yet for Elvis’ relative, the climatic moment was waiting for The King to come downstairs and join the party. He remembers waiting by the staircase that led down to the kitchen and admitted he’d get chills just waiting for the star’s arrival.

Danny shared: “Probably the greatest memory for me as a child and coming all the way up through a teenager…it just seemed to get greater and greater…was everybody would get up to Graceland, everybody would be talking, kids would be playing, but we knew that some time or another Elvis was going to come downstairs. When he’d come down the stairs and he walked into that room, it just lit up. Elvis always seemed to be happy and in a good mood around Christmas. He loved Christmas.” 

Elvis had an all-encompassing aura when he entered a room and it was on this occasion when he’d hand out jewellery, money and even cars as gifts to his Memphis Mafia. Danny also shared the mischief he’d get up to with Lisa Marie later in the night when the adults were absent.

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In the early hours of Christmas Day, Elvis would be upstairs in his bedroom chatting with Danny’s parents. This meant that he, Lisa Marie and the other Memphis Mafia kids could continue to play and even help themselves to some leftover punch. He added: “It was one of the greatest things that I got to live and experience and it wasn’t just Christmas time. Just that life.”


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