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Christmas with an island touch

Music shop puts the ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ in the holiday season

If you can’t be in Hawaii for the holidays, why not sing about it, right? A local music shop is making it easy for you to learn how to sing one of the more fun holiday songs — “Mele Kalikimaka,” written by R. Alex Anderson in 1949 and made famous by many, including Bing Crosby and the late great Don Ho. Chris Gabriel and Stephanie Hays Gabriel are the owners of MusikHaus, 1217 S.W. 19th Ave. in Goose Hollow, and they want to teach everybody how to sing the “Merry Christmas” song of the Hawaiian islands. The lucky person who best sings the song wins a ukulele. The couple met while attending Hilo High School, and have since lived in Germany and Portland. They are members of the band Super Zeitgeist. Chris Gabriel, the son of a military man, is a singer and ukulele player, and he has produced step-by-step instructions in a video to sing the traditional Hawaiian Christmas song. “This song is really close to my heart,” he says. “I was born and spent many years in Hawaii. ‘Mele Kalikimaka’ reminds me of my family during the holidays.” Until Dec. 16, the Gabriels will have instructions on their Facebook page and their YouTube site — facebook.com/musikhauspdx and youtube.com/musikhauspdx. Then, contestants can upload their versions of the song for judging, with the winner receiving a new ukulele. The Gabriels plan to produce a video with the entries. “Not only do we want to spread the idea of peace, joy and music during the holidays, I want to share this song with everyone who is not home during Christmas,” Chris Gabriel says. MusikHaus can be contacted by calling 503-460-0780, or by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. — Jason Vondersmith