Teacher wrote ‘All I Want for Christmas’

You’ve heard it and you’ve sung it, but you probably don’t know by whom or why “All I Want For Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)” was written.

It was penned in the 1940s by a music teacher and textbook editor named Don Gardner. There are different stories about how he came to write it. All of them place Gardner in Smithtown, N.Y., at the time.

The Boston Globe reported in a 2004 obituary that Gardner wrote the song when he was a music teacher on Long Island and was selecting songs for the Christmas program:

“ ‘I didn’t yet have anything selected for the second-graders,’ he told the Wellesley Townsman in the 1980s. One by one, he watched the children tell the teacher what they wanted that year.

‘They were all using the same phrase, ‘All I want for Christmas,’’ he said. ‘Then, the teacher said something funny and they all laughed, and I noticed that 16 of the 22 in the class were missing their front teeth.’ ”

A Los Angeles Times obituary reported that the Witmark music company published the song in 1948; Spike Jones and his City Slickers released a recording Dec. 6, 1948, and it reached No. 1 on the pop charts in 1949.

— Valerie Strauss

fairfax county
Garza announces winter listening tour

New Fairfax County schools Superintendent Karen Garza plans to meet with parents, students and staff this winter to listen to concerns and comments “about school issues and priorities,” according to a statement from Fairfax County Public Schools.

Garza will continue her “listening tour” that began this fall by visiting three schools in January and February.

The first event is slated for Jan. 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Twain Middle School in Alexandria, with additional events scheduled for Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. at West Springfield High School and Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke.

— T. Rees Shapiro


The approximate number of college students who play on their schools’ football teams, a fraction of the more than 1 million boys who play football in U.S. high schools. Less than 2 percent of college players will be drafted by a professional team, meaning the chances of going pro are very slim.