Editor’s Note: I wrote this post a few years ago, but the Santa Baby stats still stand. Enjoy!
lyricfancy takes a brief departure from our normal lyric experiments to get into the holiday spirit. We raise an eyebrow at the Christmas classic of gift gluttony, Santa Baby.
Released in 1953 and seductively sung by the incomparable Eartha Kitt, Santa Baby chronicles a young woman’s material desires. Adults are sometimes disheartened and amused at children’s Christmas lists of today. Eartha’s ambitious requests seem to literally take a page from the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book.
The mean annual salary in 1953 was $4,200 (yes, you read that correctly). Let’s check this monster list twice, through the wallet of the ‘50s economy.
Slip a sable under the tree for me-While not a sable, the Waco Tribune-Herald included an ad for a Natural Ranch Mink on sale for $1,192, regular price $1,590.
A ’54 convertible too-The approximate cost of the automobile during the time period was $2,350 and up.
I want a yacht and really that’s not a lot-Really? Not a lot? A custom watercraft could run $65,000.
Santa honey, there’s one thing I really do need, the deed-to a platinum mine-Probably the most difficult thing to quantify. In 1955, the platinum mines of Rustenburg and Johnson Matthey produced 200,000 ounces of platinum. Over the last 45 years platinum has averaged $582 an ounce. You do the math.
I’m filling my stocking with the duplex, and checks-The price tag for a Miami duplex was approximately $20,000. The checks reference is way too general to attempt to value. We’re sure Eartha wanted blank ones.
Come and trim my Christmas tree, with some decorations bought at Tiffany-Tiffany is currently selling a $175 snowflake ornament. It takes about 100 ornaments to decorate a tree. We’ll do the math. In 1953 money, that’s $20,000. That tree better sing carols, buy gifts and wrap presents for that kind of coin.
Forgot to mention one little thing, a ring– Harry Winston was a popular jeweler of the time and his stones adorned actresses and heads of state alike. In a legal case, one of his rings sold for 12,500 at auction.
Santa Baby has been covered by more than 30 artists from Mae West to Madonna to the great Miss Piggy.
Like what you’ve read? Please spread the goodness using the share or like buttons below.
Image from Pixabay using a CC0 Public Domain license. lyricfancy uses music as a conduit to humorously discuss human nature. This article is in no way a personal judgment about the artist. We believe in creative expression.