Christmas Luau


“Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!”(Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!)

You can easily add warm touches of Aloha to your holiday party to create a festive fun Hawaii theme Christmas party wherever you are! It is also lots of fun to hold a Hawaiian Theme Christmas Party anytime, especially in the warmer summer months, when your guests can dress comfortably in aloha and beach attire and the party can even be held outdoors! In fact many people celebrate Christmas in July for that very reason. In addition to our luau tips provided on this web site, below are tips specific to adding a Hawaii theme to your Christmas festivities including decorating tips, games, and recipes.


* Use Hawaii theme Christmas cards as your party invitations
* Have guests wear name badges with their name translated into Hawaiian
* Decorate your party location in silk flower garlands
* Adorn your guests in fresh or silk flower leis.
* Have a Hawaiian Santa and/or Hula Menehune
* Have a Makepono Gift Exchange
* Play fun Hawaii theme Christmas Games
* Play Hawaiian theme Christmas music
* Use Umbrella Straws in Drinks
* Have Hawaiian theme place cards at the dinner table
* Wrap gifts in Hawaiian Christmas paper
* Read out loud a Hawaii Christmas story
* Decorate your Christmas Tree and/or Buffet Table in Hawaii theme ornamentssilk flower garlands, and Hawaii theme fairy lights


Have a man, preferably tanned or a darker skinned man, to play the Hawaiian Santa. Have him wear a white Santa beard, a red Santa hatAloha shirtshorts, and beach shoes.
In addition to or instead of a Hawaiian Santa  you can have a lovely lady dress as Santa’s helper Hula Menehune (elf) dressed in a green real grass skirt, a red, green or white top (bikini or t-shirt), a red Santa hat, and a red silk flower lei.



Have a Makepono (bargain) gift exchange. Everyone has at least one gift that they’ve received in their closet that’s a perfectly good gift, but does not suit their taste or they already have one. Tell each guest to bring a gift wrapped item they had previously received as a gift and have never used. Have your guests place their Makepono gift under the Christmas Tree or on a gift table when they come in. We recommend the host provide a few extra Makepono gifts for those who may forget. Then have your Hawaiian Santa and/or lovely Santa’s helper Hula Menehune (elf) distribute the gifts randomly to the guests. Encourage everyone to mingle to see what other people got and trade among each other. As they saying goes; one persons’ trash is another persons’ treasure. This fun activity won’t cost anyone anything and is a great mixer!


Game Preparation
This is a really fun mixer that gets your guests to mingle! Create name badges for each guest with their name in Hawaiian (see our name translation resource at here ) Then below their Hawaiian name put a Christmas related word in English and its translation in Hawaiian. Words can be used on more than one name badge.

How Game Works
When your guests arrive have them put on their name badge and give them a paper listing all of the English Christmas words and advise them to mix with the other guests to find the translation for all of the words. Advise each guest once they have located all the translations to put their name on their answer sheet and have a drop box or basket for your guests to put the completed answer sheets in. Later during the party randomly pull a winner from everyone who returned a completed Christmas words translations answer sheet and award a prize.

Christmas Phrases:
Angel – Anela
Candy – Kanake
Christmas Eve – Ahiahi Kalikimaka
Christmas Tree – La’au Kalikimaka
Elf – Menehune
Garland –  Lei
Gift – Makana
God – Akua
Holly – Kawa’u
Jesus Christ- Iesu Kristo
Joy, Happy – Hau’oli
Love – Aloha
Merry Christmas – Mele Kalikimaka
Mistletoe – Kaumahana
Ornament – Wehi
Peace – Malu
Reindeer – Leinekia
Santa Claus – Kanakaloka
Snow – Hau Kea
Snowball – Popohau
Snowflake – Hau puehuehu
Star – Hoku
Wreath – Lei


You will need:
A prize wrapped in several layers of gift wrap and boxes (The more the merrier)
1 Pair of Gloves that will fit up to the largest hands of your guests (The bigger the funnier)
1 Hat (Santa hatknit hat, or beach hat)

How to play:
Have those who will be playing stand in a circle with the gloves, hat, and wrapped box placed in the center of the circle. The game begins by someone rolling the die. Each player in turn rolls the die once. If the player rolls a 3 (three) they will then pass the die to the player next to them, then hurry into the middle to put on the gloves and hat and start to unwrap the package. Players must move fast because the next player who rolls a 3 must pass the die and rush to the center where they will take the hat off of the person already unwrapping. The player already in the center must stop unwrapping immediately, take off the gloves, gives them to the next person who begins trying to open the present with the gloves on. The person bumped from the center returns to their spot in the circle. The game continues like this until the package is completely unwrapped. The last player unwrapping receives the prize. Keep in mind the trickier you wrap the gift the more fun it is to open!


You will need:
8 different individual serving size candies (Candy Cane, Chocolate Santa, M&M’s, Peanut Butter Cup, etc)

How to play:
Have everyone who will play sit on the floor in a circle with the packaged candy in the middle of the circle. Go around the circle and have everyone say their name and how they know the host. The host then makes sure that everyone knows what candy is in the middle by introducing each piece of candy. The person to the host’s right begins by rolling the dice. If they roll a 7, they can take one of the candies from the middle. The die continues to go quickly around the circle while people keep picking up candy. When all of the candies are taken, people then can get other player’s candy. In order to get their candy, they must state the person’s first name and the name of the candy they hold. The player who rolls a 7 and matches the name of the candy and the person takes the other’s candy. If they forget either name, they miss their turn and the dice goes to the next person and they continue to roll. One person can get more than one candy and people can hide the candy behind their back. The host calls the end of the game after 20 minutes or whenever they see fit. This is a great way of getting to know people’s name and how to get your favorite candies!


You will need:
Full size individually wrapped candy canes (not the mini’s)
Red Solo Cups

How to play:
Scatter candy canes on the playing table. Each player puts the stick end of a candy cane in their mouth. When the game begins each player tries to hook candy canes on the table using the candy cane in their mouth, without using their hands! Once they hook a candy cane they must place it in the red solo cup to count. This is trickier than it sounds and is a lot of fun! Run the game for 2 minutes and the person with the most candy canes in their cup is the winner!


You will need:
bandanas or T-shirts or paper tails
Santa Hats (optional)

How to play:
Break your guests into teams of 3-5 people. Have the members on each team of 3-5 people hold on to each others waists or link elbows to create the lucky gecko. Put a Santa hat on the head of the first person and tuck a bandana or t-shirt or paper tail in the back pocket of the end person so it hangs out and acts as the gecko tail. The object of the game is to steal the tail of the other geckos while avoiding other geckos who are trying to steal your tail. Teams must stay linked to participate, no letting go to grab the tail. Only the first person can reach for the opponents tail. Once a team’s tail has been stolen the team must go to the sideline. The last team to have a tail wins the title of the ultimate Lucky Gecko Tail Catcher and a prize.


Decorate your Christmas tree in Hawaii theme ornaments and when someone wins a game allow them to choose an ornament from the tree to keep as their prize!


Hawaiian Christmas Candle

Items needed for each “Christmas Candle”
pineapple slice
1/2 banana
1 maraschino cherries
whipped cream
1 leaf of lettuce

Place lettuce on plate, put pineapple slice on lettuce, put the cut end of the banana in hole of pineapple, top with whipped cream and a cherry.
This can be made into a fun activity by putting out the ingredients and a completed example then have your luau attendees create their own. You can even have competitions to see who can create one the fastest.

Hawaiian Reindeer Snacks

2/3 cup macadamia nut butter or creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup honey
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 cups regular oats, uncooked
1 cup unsalted macadamia nuts
1-1/2 cups candied pineapple chopped into small pieces

Pre-heat oven to 300F
Combine peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thoroughly heated (do not boil). Stir in vanilla. Spread oats in a lightly greased 15z10x1 inch jellyroll pan. Pour peanut butter mixture over oats; stir to coat evenly.
Bake at 300 F for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in macadamia nuts. Turn oven off and let cool in oven 1-1/2 hours with door closed, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven; stir in candied pineapple pieces. Makes 8 cups.

Mele Kalikimaka Punch

1 can frozen cranberry juice concentrate
1 can frozen pineapple concentrate
1 can cream of coconut
2 liters ginger ale soda
1 bottle sparkling mineral water
Pineapple sherbet balls

Mix all ingredients in a large punch bowl and serve!

Santa’s Hat Ice Cream Float

1/2 gallon pineapple sherbet
1 bottle of ginger ale
1 can refrigerated instant whipped cream
Red decorator sugar crystals
8 long-stemmed maraschino cherries

Spoon 1 cup ice cream into each of 8 glasses or mugs; pour 1/2 cup ginger ale over each. Top each with whipped cream, colorful sugar crystals, and a cherry. Makes 8 servings.

Chewy Hawaiian Snowball Cookies

1-3/4 cups and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup white sugar
1-1/2 egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt then set aside. In a medium bowl cream the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually blend in the flour mixture then mix in the coconut. Drop dough balls by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Cookies balls should be about 3 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted. Cool on wire racks.

Santa’s Favorite Hawaiian Trail Mix

Macadamia Nuts
Candied Pineapple Chunks
Chex Cereal
Coconut Flakes

Mix and serve in a large bowl!

Crock Pot Guava Jelly Meatballs

1 1/2 cups chili sauce
1 cup guava jelly
1 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 pound lean ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons fine dry bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine chili sauce, jelly, and mustard in Crock Pot and stir well. Cook, covered, on high while preparing meatballs. Combine remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Shape into 30 meatballs. Bake meatballs in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes; drain well. Add meatballs to sauce, stir to coat, cover and cook on low for 6 to 10 hours. This is a tasty Hawaiian variation of a sweet sour meatball dish!

Baked Guava Chicken

Jar guava jelly
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons ground allspice
1 tablespoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1 cup water
1 tablespoon corn starch
3 pounds chicken legs, wings, or combo of legs & wings

Combine guava jelly, lemon juice, soy sauce, allspice, salt and pepper in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until jelly is melted, stir well. In bowl combine water and corn starch then stir mixture into the guava jelly mixture and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.  Place chicken in ziplock bag and pour in cooled guava mixture. Seal and marinade in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. Place chicken in roasting pan, save guava marinade, and bake at 350 for 30 minute. Drain off liquid and coat with remaining guava marinade and bake another 15 minutes.  They can also be grilled for 15-18 minutes, coat with marinade and turn until golden brown. Serves 8.

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