The lyrics were written by Kim Gannon during World War II to honor the soldiers overseas who longed to be home at Christmastime. Gannon said in one interview that he was thinking of anyone that could not be home for Christmas, but not servicemen.
Walter Kent provided the music for the song.
Buck Ram is credited as a songwriter following a lawsuit he brought based on his poem by the same title.
Gannon sang the song to Bing Crosby one day while playing golf and Crosby decided to record the song on the flip side of the original recording of Danny Boy.
Crosby scored a top ten hit with the song.
In December 1965, astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell while on Gemini 7, requested “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” be played for them by the NASA ground crew
Gannon died in 1975 and all of his royalty rights have sing benefited the American Heart Association, at his request.
I’ll Be Home For Christmas has gone on to become a Christmas standard.