Although there isn’t snow on the ground or a chill in the air, the Christmas tradition in Hawaii is as abundant as the North Shore’s legendary winter waves. During the holiday season, Christmas lights glow on island homes, Christmas trees sparkle in hotel lobbies, and choir songs dance in the tropical breeze. Here is what you can expect if you are spending Christmas in Hawaii.
Protestant missionaries introduced Christmas to Hawaii in the early 1880s. Coincidentally, this new celebration occurred around the same time as Makahiki; a traditional Hawaiian festival focused on reflection, renewal, and respite from war.
What About Santa?
You might be wondering about Santa. Rest assured that the Hawaiian island chain is on his radar. Just like the rest of us, Santa knows a paradise when he sees it. Keep your eyes peeled for the tell-tale red hat when you are at the beach. Santa often makes a pre-Christmas visit to the islands. You may see him riding the waves on a surfboard or paddling his outrigger canoe.
We love spending Christmas in Hawaii, where sandy beaches replace snow drifts or puddles, and the only thing you need to put on when you go outside is sunscreen. And a bathing suit. Mele Kalikimaka!
Travel Tips for Spending Christmas in Hawaii
- If you spend Christmas in Hawaii, consider packing a small string of indoor lights to bring a festive sparkle to your hotel room or condo.
- Christmas decorations are readily available for purchase at local shops and islanders often decorate their vehicles as well as their homes.
- Some resorts offer Christmas trees or florals for guests to purchase for their hotel rooms. Contact the resort floral department to inquire if this service is available. Another option is buying a pre-light table top Christmas Tree at a local store like Target or Walmart.
- Traditional Christmas dinner, often served buffet style, is available at many island restaurants and resorts.
- Stay safe in the sun and protect the environment with reef-safe sunscreen. Learn about our favorite brands and more of the best beach products here. Also, Hawaii is in the process of banning sunscreen that harms coral reefs. The law is expected to come into force in early 2021.