This Hawaiian-themed Christmas song was written in 1949 by Robert Alex Anderson. The Hawaiian song title translates into English as "Merry Christmas."
Honolulu, Hawaii-born Robert Alexander Anderson (1894-1995) was a successful businessman who turned his love of songwriting into a very successful second career. This was one of a number of popular Hawaiian songs that he composed within the Hapa haole genre.
Bing Crosby recorded the best known version of the song in 1950, duetting with The Andrews Sisters. Other musicians that have covered the tune include Jimmy Buffet, Bette Midler, Jake Owen and KT Tunstall.
This has been used in both the L.A. Confidential and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation movies. In both instances the song was attributed to Bing Crosby only – there was no mention of the Andrews Sisters' contribution as the credits rolled.
Jamey Johnson recorded the tune for his 2014 The Christmas Song EP. His version features The Secret Sisters.Johnson told Billboard magazine: "When I was thinking about who to do the female part, there was only one thought: the Secret Sisters. They are the only ones I know that have that vocal control and that style of harmony. Everything they do is so spot-on. They are our modern-day version of the Andrews Sisters."
In The Office episode "Doomsday" (2011), Gabe sings this while he hula dances with Darryl's support belt. It was also used in the TV shows Hawaii Five-0 ("Hana 'a'a Makehewa" - 2010), Two And A Half Men ("Give Santa A Tail-Hole" - 2012), and Arrested Development ("In God We Trust" - 2003).