Five decades later, 83-year-old Johnny Gondesen still wants the world to hear “Christmas is Here.”

By Meghan Overdeep
December 09, 2019
Johnny Gondesen
Credit: Facebook/Johnny Gondesen

More than 50 years later, 83-year-old Johnny Gondesen’s Christmas wish has finally come true, and he has his family to thank.

Gondesen, of Cypress, Texas, who sang in a Galveston country western band as a young man, wrote the song "Christmas Is Here" for his children in 1965. He recorded it and passed out free copies of the 45 record to friends in their neighborhood, and though he dreamed of his song reaching the masses, it never happened.

That is, until last week, when 54 years later, he finally heard his own song on Houston radio.

“Ho ho ho/ He he he/ Coming down the chim-uh-knee”

For five decades, "Christmas Is Here" wallowed in relative obscurity. But things started to change in 2014, when Gondesen’s children and grandchildren shot a homemade video for the song (below), starring him in the Santa suit he’s worn for years. They asked friends and strangers alike to buy it on iTunes and "make our grandpa feel famous."

KTRK ran a story about the feel-good holiday song in November, which lead a radio station in Houston to invite Gondesen to the studio to play on air for the very first time.

It’s a dream come true, but Gondesen’s not done yet. He wants the world to hear "Christmas Is Here.”

"My goal is to get the song all over the world," he told CNN. "I would like all the children, especially at Christmastime, to be able to hear it and learn how to sing it."

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Gondesen’s son, Johnny Jr., told KTRK that he thinks the song has what it takes to become a true Christmas classic.

"It's innocent, and it's a simple song kids love. Why not when I flip on Spotify and hit my Christmas playlist have his song come up right next to Bing Crosby?" he asked.

It sure is catchy!