How does Santa make it to Maui? On a canoe, of course!

Enjoy these pics of Santa’s annual arrival, Maui-style! What does Santa where in the warm climes of Hawaii? A red aloha shirt, board shorts, and flip-flops, of course.  Don’t miss this great, Maui Christmas tradition when he arrives by canoe in front of the Hula Grill at Ka’anapali!

Santa nearing Maui by canoe

 

 

 

 

Santa makes landfall in Kaanapali Maui by canoe

 

 

 

 

Santa arrives by canoe in Kaanapali

Christmas on Maui: Makawao Town’s Third Friday Party

Makawao Town is just a short drive from the hot sandy beaches of Kihei, but you’ll feel like you’re in a different world, with cool fresh breezes, lush green, and pastures dotted with horses. The town itself has a great “cowboy” feel, but with a definite Maui-twist.

Makawao Town at Christmas

Makawao Town at Christmas

For eats you can get great steak, Italian, and of course the legendary Komoda Bakery (but only in the morning).  Ambling through the shops is fun as well…not as large, hectic, and hot as walking the shops on Front Street in Lahaina. Much more laid back upcountry! Third Friday marks the monthly Makawao Town Party, and during December it is a fun way to enjoy the town with the added bonus of Christmas cheer! Oh, and here’s an insiders tip: I drove into Makawao on Friday December 13th, wondering where all the crowds were for the Town Party. I commented to my wife that parking was going to be a breeze. Slowly, my sunburned brain realized that December 13 and “Third Friday” don’t go together. Yes, we showed up on Second Friday for the Third Friday celebration! We still had a great time and had the distinct pleasure of spending TWO FRIDAYs in December at Makawao! A great Maui Christmas activity regardless of when you go!

Hawaiian Christmas Tree in Makawao Town

Hawaiian Christmas Tree in Makawao Town

A Maui Christmas Tradition: Willie K’s Christmas Concert

If you are lucky enough to be on Maui during the Christmas season, a don’t miss event is Willie K’s annual Christmas concert. We attended last night’s event at the Maui Arts and Culture Center and were treated to a truly unique Hawaiian Christmas experience. The night opened with several traditional Hawaiian tunes by Uncle Richard Ho`opi`i, including a lovely hula by his wife Ululani. Willie entered the stage by joining Uncle Richard for his final song.  I was so impressed with Willie’s obvious respect and appreciation for the older generation of singers. Willie K Christmas Concert

Willie is an amazing guitarist and entertainer, and an even more amazing vocalist. In his own words, he likes to go “against the grain” and all of his songs are “Willie K style”. My favorite song was Ave Maria, complete with outstanding operatic vocals. My second favorite song was his impression of Willie Nelson singing Away in a Manage. Yes, Willie K mixes it up, even at a Christmas concert he works in traditional Hawaiian, blues, rock, opera, country, and incredible mixtures of all of the above.

Tickets for this Christmas show on Maui can be a bit spendy, but worth every penny.

Mele Kalikimaka!

P.S See my previous post for more ideas on things to do on Maui during the Christmas season. And don’t forget to leave comments with your own ideas for Hawaiian holiday activities!

A Maui Christmas Tradition: The Lighting of the Banyan Tree

The Lahaina Banyan “Christmas Tree”

We are officially into the Christmas Season on Maui, with the lighting of the banyan tree in Lahaina. Even if you miss the lighting ceremony, a visit to Lahaina during the Holiday Season is highly recommended, with festive decorations, Christmas performances, and of course thousands of lights on the famous 140 year old giant tree. Here is a taste of what you’ll experience! Check out Christmast on Maui for more ideas (and please leave more of your own ideas in the comments!)

Christmas in Lahaina MauiChristmas in Lahaina MauiChristmas in Lahaina Maui

 

Christmas on Maui

This year for the first time my family and I will be spending Christmas on the island of Maui. Of course, I am looking forward to a unique Hawaiian holiday experience with sun, sand and Santa. But can Christmas on Maui be more than just substituting commercialized mainland experiences for commercialized island experiences? Is there Surfing Santasome Maui “Aloha” that can make Christmas even more meaningful?  Of course, in preparation for my December visit to Maui, I’ve already Googled “Christmas on Maui” and have a few things on my list (see below), but what about you? What do YOU like to do on Maui during the holidays?

I asked Maui resident Erik Blair of ErikEverywhere.com about his favorite things to do on Maui during the holidays. His response was quintessentially Hawaiian: “Some times we get a group together and agree to meet to watch the sunset, or rarely, sunrise.” Don’t let Erik’s suggestion scare you off…not all Maui Christmas activies need to be so cerebral or zen. Christmas lights and decorations and food are great during the holidays as well!  Please comment to this post, and during the month of December I’ll update you on my thoughts about Aloha Christmas based on personal experience!

Some things on my “Top Things to Do during Christmas on Maui” List:

Updated 11/14/13: We’ve had some great suggestions thanks to your comments! Here are a few more items that are vieing for a spot on my “Top Things to Do during Christmas on Maui” List:

And more to come with your help! Again, please leave your comments here with suggestions for things to do on Maui during the Christmas season!

Surfing Santa

Surfing Santa on Maui