Say aloha to the holidays

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The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua will host a tree-lighting ceremony with live music by Henry Kapono, hula dancing, photos with Santa and a holiday craft fair.
The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua will host a tree-lighting ceremony with live music by Henry Kapono, hula dancing, photos with Santa and a holiday craft fair. Photo Credit: Courtesy The Ritz-Carlton Maui, Kapalua
Christine Hitt
Christine Hitt

Sometimes the winter months mean dashing off to some place warmer. The humid air, when you step off the plane in Hawaii, is a welcomed relief, like a great big hug. Then the breezy trade winds take their turn prancing over and around you — a reminder that Hawaii really does have the best weather.

Although there is no snow and the temperature rarely drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the excitement of the holidays is not lost here. The streets and shops are decked out, people are scattered about shopping for family and friends and the locals break out their socks to wear with their flip-flops on those cooler-than-usual days.

When enjoying the holidays in Hawaii, no matter where you plan on staying, look out for holiday parades, block parties and shopping center special events across Hawaii. Hotels and resorts offer breakfast or brunch packages with Santa, such as at Alohilani Resort. Tree-lighting ceremonies can also be found, such as the one on Dec. 2 at The Ritz Carlton Maui, Kapalua.

Honolulu City Lights, one of the most anticipated events in Hawaii, starts Saturday, Dec. 3, with a tree-topping ceremony and electric-light parade. People can view the city Christmas tree and the larger-than-life Shaka Santa and Mrs. Claus, which will be on display until Jan. 2.

Hawaii's largest outdoor shopping mall, the Ala Moana Center, is festively decorated for the season, but keep an eye on the sky for its 50-foot-tall Santa overlooking Ala Moana Boulevard as you drive by.

Also watch out for scheduled performances by Hawaiian musicians during the holidays for special concerts that you won't find at any other time in the year.

Amy Hanaialii Gilliom is performing a holiday concert at the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore of Oahu on Dec. 18 in a dinner show with a hula performance. 

On Maui, the Maui Pops Orchestra featuring Hawaiian musical singing group Na Leo Pilimehana will be performing festive tunes, and hula troupe Halau Kekuaokala au ala iliahi will accompany in dance. The holiday pops concert will take place at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center on Dec. 4.

Three-time Grammy winner Kalani Pea is performing a Hawaiian Christmas show at Oahu's Hawaii Theatre on Dec. 23, where his gorgeous voice takes centerstage. The event will feature music that's a perfect mix of Western and Hawaiian songs, which will get you right into the spirit of the holidays in Hawaii.

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