I want a hippopotamus for Christmas. Only a hippopotamus will do... This cute little kitten has just one wish for Christmas-she REALLY wants a hippopotamus! How will Santa get this present under the Christmas tree? He's going to need a bigger sleigh! 'I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas' was originally released in 1953 by 10-year-old Gayla Peevey, and was an instant hit. The song has been an enduring Christmas favourite ever since.