This will be the first time the Memphis home’s interior will be used as the backdrop for an evening of holiday music.
Elvis Presley‘s granddaughter Riley Keough is opening Graceland’s doors for an unprecedented Christmas special. This event is the first major project Riley has championed after taking over the role of Graceland’s owner. This is the first live musical televised holiday special at the estate.
Riley Keough opens the doors to Graceland for this one-of-a-kind Christmas special
Thus far, the interior of Elvis Presley’s Graceland home has primarily been accessible to those who tour the estate. However, his granddaughter, Riley Keough, is opening the home’s doors for an evening of music during her grandfather’s favorite holiday season.
In a press release, Riley states, “My family and I are elated to open the doors to Graceland in this first-of-its-kind special. With intimate musical performances drawing inspiration from my grandfather Elvis’s cherished Christmases in Memphis, viewers will be invited to experience firsthand the magic of Christmas at Graceland.”
“To celebrate the holidays at Graceland and be a part of the King’s legacy is both an honor and an absolute dream come true,” said Jen Neal, Executive Vice President of Live Events and Specials, NBCUniversal Media Group. “We thank Riley and her family for allowing all of us to visit her grandfather’s iconic home and share an intimate musical experience that Elvis would’ve truly loved.”
Why is visiting Graceland at Christmas so special?
Visiting Graceland at any time during the year is an unforgettable experience. However, at Christmas, the estate comes to life with vintage decorations. Lively decorated rooms are abundant, and visitors feel transported to Christmas through Elvis’ eyes.
Many rooms on the home’s main floor are decorated with Elvis Presley’s personal decorations. Many of these are almost 70 years old. The stairwell that leads toward Elvis’ private upstairs quarters is lined with nearly two dozen poinsettia plants.
In the evening, hundreds of blue lights line the driveway. A life-size Nativity scene is positioned on one side of the house. A huge sign featuring Santa and his sleigh flanks the other. Its message reads, “Merry Christmas to all, Love Elvis.”
Why did Elvis Presley love Christmas so much?
Christmas was Elvis Presley’s favorite holiday. The official Graceland website reveals why the king of rock and roll loved Christmas and all the ways he made the festive season special.
The Presleys traditionally put up their Christmas decorations early. Then, they stayed up through Elvis’ birthday on January 8, a tradition Graceland keeps today.
The large sign featuring Santa and his sleigh was purchased in 1957 when the Presleys moved into the Memphis mansion. The king of rock and roll reportedly purchased the sign for $300 from the Bain Sign Company.
The home also keeps up Elvis’ tradition of changing the home’s drapes during Christmas from blue to deep red. The white holiday tree Elvis enjoyed decorating with red ornaments remains in the home’s formal front living room.
Even the blue lights that line the driveway are a throwback to when Elvis and his family lived at the home full-time. Reportedly, Vernon Elvis’ father would joke that with all the lights illuminating the long driveway, pilots at a nearby airport might think it was a runway.
Christmas at Graceland will air on NBC on Nov. 29, 2023, immediately following the network’s presentation of its annual Christmas in Rockefeller Center. Performers for the event have yet to be announced.