Why Michael Jackson only experienced his first proper Christmas aged 35

7 December 2021, 10:39 | Updated: 9 December 2021, 11:49

Michael Jackson was given his first proper Christmas by friend Elizabeth Taylor
Michael Jackson was given his first proper Christmas by friend Elizabeth Taylor. Picture: Alamy/Michael Jackson/YouTube
Hannah Lovejoy

By Hannah Lovejoy

Michael Jackson may be one of the most iconic musicians of all time but he grew up for many years without experiencing a traditional Christmas.

Michael Jackson wasn’t short of heart, personality or talent and despite this, the singer-songwriter never had the opportunity to engage in Christmas activities for much of his early life.

While mostly due to upbringing, family values and circumstances, by the time Michael had fame and money, he didn’t have the heart or spirit to celebrate Christmas.

Michael’s longtime friend Elizabeth Taylor changed all of that in 1993 when she hosted Christmas for Michael for the first time at his Neverland home.

In rare footage, you can see how Elizabeth transformed Michael’s home into a Christmas wonderland. There’s everything from extravagant hallway decorations to a massive Christmas tree as well as presents for Michael to open.

Michael Jackson - First Christmas 1993 HD

Speaking of Elizabeth, Michael described her as a “loyal, loving, caring” person and emphasised how much he appreciated her friendship.

“I’ve met a lot of people in my life and very few are real real real friends, I can probably count them on one hand. And Elizabeth is one of the most loyal, loving, caring people that I know,” Michael said.

"She decided to transform Neverland into its first Christmas because I don’t celebrate Christmas.”

The video shows Elizabeth knocking on Michael’s door and asking him to join her - as they walk through the house Michael is pleasantly surprised by the efforts and lengths that Elizabeth had gone to.

Elizabeth explained how long it took for her to convince Michael to celebrate Christmas for the first time in 1993.

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Motown 25 (Remastered)

She explained: “It is 1993 and this will be Michael Jackson’s very first Christmas. It has taken me, I would think about five years of talking him into celebrating Christmas at Neverland.”

She went on to explain that Michael didn’t ever celebrate Christmas because of his personal faith as a Jehovah’s Witness. Elizabeth mentioned that Michael stopped practising the faith and she wanted to show him that Christmas was a celebration of love.

“When he quit being a Jehovah’s Witness, I said to Michael ‘I think Christmas is a wonderful way of celebrating love,” she continued.

“It’s a celebration of love and I can’t see Christmas without Michael or Michael without Christmas.”

Towards the end of the video, Michael is seen full of joy and delighted with his presents.