Hawaiian Christmas Decorations Beyond the Norm

Photo of two pineapples
Celebrate a tropical Christmas.

Hawaiian Christmas decorations don't have to be tacky and consist solely of little Santas in grass skirts. A Hawaiian Christmas can be just a beautiful and festive as the traditional white Christmas.

Christmas conjures up different images for many people. Some feel that Christmas is about snow, sledding, snowball fights, hot chocolate and mittens. Others feel that Christmas is about a family vacation in a tropical paradise, unencumbered by snow, slush, sleet and cold. Still others may be caught in a white Christmas yet dream of having a Mele Kalikimaka on a warm beach in the Pacific. Whatever Christmas may mean to you and whether or not you are celebrating it in Hawaii, these suggestions for Hawaiian Christmas decorations should help you to celebrate the holiday in style.

Creating Hawaiian Christmas Decorations

The key to creating Hawaiian Christmas decorations is to get into the island spirit. With a little imagination, your tropical Christmas can be great fun to design.

Greenery & Garlands

Hawaii is so lush that there is never any lack of greenery.

Garlands are a big part of Christmas for all of us but they are also a big part of everyday life in Hawaii. Few tourists ever get off a plane in Hawaii without receiving the ceremonial welcome with flower lei. A lovely garland of palm fronds and flowers can decorate a mantle just as beautifully as fir branches and holly berries.

A great Hawaiian alternative to the traditional evergreen Christmas tree is a potted palm tree. Add a string of Hawaiian-themed lights like little palm trees or pineapples and a garland of real or imitation flowers.

You may prefer instead to use a traditional Christmas tree and decorate it in fine Hawaiian style. This can be done easily enough with a string of Hawaiian-themed lights, a flower garland and some tropical-themed ornaments.


Many mail order companies, like Oriental Trading, stock inexpensive sea shells, starfish and sand dollars. These small trinkets make beautiful Christmas tree ornaments. You can go with their natural sun-bleached beauty and simply attach a loop of string to each with a drop of glue to the back of the shell, or dress them up a bit with silver and gold glitter pens.Some other Hawaiian icons that would make great ornaments for a Christmas tree are mini pineapples and tiki masks. You could make your own small, ornament sized pineapples and tiki masks with a bake-at-home clay or even a dough that you could mix up in your kitchen.

Dough Ornaments

You will need:

  • 1C Salt
  • 4C Flour
  • 1 1/2C Warm Water
  • A Straw

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

Hawaiian plumeria print in blue and white
Use Dad's Hawaiian shirt as stocking material.

Mix salt and flour together. Add water slowly, kneading dough until stiff but workable. Roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thick. Cut desired shapes from dough. Make sure to punch a hole in the top of each ornament using the straw. Remove the excess dough from the hole before baking.

Bake cut ornaments for one hour at 200 degrees.

Once the ornaments are baked and cooled, you can decorate them any way you like with acrylic or watercolor paints. If you prefer to have colored dough, simply add a few drops of food coloring when adding the water to the recipe.

To make tiki masks with the dough, simply cut your rolled dough into rectangles, use a sharp knife to cut out eyes and mouths, and then pinch the dough to make different expressions on each. Making these can be especially fun and easy Christmas craft project for kids.

Other Christmas Decorations

Some other ideas for fun and festive Hawaiian decorations include a life preserver wreath covered in flower petals, hollowed out coconut shells used to hold candles, and recycling Dad's old Hawaiian shirt to make Christmas stockings for the family. For a little extra fun, add a dried grass fringe to the tops of the stockings.

Where to Find Hawaiian-Themed Decorations

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Hawaiian Christmas Decorations Beyond the Norm