It’s almost winter, and you know what that means: Frolicking in the crystal-clear waters of Maui!

Wait, What?

If you’re like me, winter is really all about celebrating the holidays with the family, calorie-laden food and below 50 degree weather.

However, given the plentiful activities available during the yuletide season in the island, it might not be such a bad idea to trade snow in for sand.

From family-friendly activities like photo sessions with Santa Claus to elegant, adult-only retreats, Maui has something for everyone to enjoy. Below is a glimpse of what you’ll find to do this holiday SEA-son in Maui.

Courtesy of Maui Ocean Center

Twelve Days of FISH-mas - Dec. 14 -25

“Scuba” Claus and his Elf will make a special appearance at Maui Ocean Center.  The pair will make daily visits to the aquarium’s 750,000-gallon Open Ocean exhibit and host dive link presentations.  Wearing a special dive mask, he will be easily be able to communicate with the audience. Moreover, December will be filled with kid-friendly events, holiday entertainment, craft vendors, and special presentations, including a naturalist presentation that focus on Hawaii’s marine creatures named for their holiday-like appearances, including the Angelfish, Christmas Wrasse, Snowflake Eel, Candy Cane Shrimp, and more.

You’re guaranteed to have a holly, jolly FISH-mas.

Holiday Lighting of the Banyan Tree - Dec. 3 & 4

Witness thousands of sparkling lights at Lahaina's Banyan tree-lighting ceremony. Choirs will sing holiday carols, and the World Culture Exchange Hula will perform on stage. Children will love playing in real snow at the “snow zone,” and decorating cookies at a cookie workshop hosted by Kris Kringle himself. In addition, a Hawaiian snowman will be on the premises to take photos with the whole family.  Finally, a holiday arts and crafts fair will take place throughout the weekend accompanied by good ‘ol Hawaiian music.

Grand Wailea’s 2nd Annual Holiday Event – Dec. 17

This year, the ritzy Grand Wailea hotel will host a holiday soiree in their Haleakala Ballroom on December 17, 2011. It will be a glamorous night filled with hors d’oeuvres, booty-shaking DJ music and Vegas-style casino games. Between sipping cocktails and placing bets at the roulette and craps tables, you can register to win giveaways from the hotel including goodies from Spa Grande (their renowned resort spa), dining for two and a trip to Sin City - the real one.

Christmas Concert: A Symphony of Carols – Dec. 10

The spirit of Christmas comes alive during A Symphony of Carols. The evening brings The Maui Concert Chorus and the University of Hawaii Maui College Chorus together to perform seasonal classics with a special solo performance by Robert E. Wills.

Here Comes Santa Claus - Dec. 24

Santa Claus arrives in Hawaiian style to Maluaka Beach, across the Makena Hotel! Make your way to the waters around 10 AM to witness him appear in a… well, I don’t know. It’s actually a surprise. Just think of it this way: he arrived in a canoe last year. Guaranteed it’s going to be one heck of an entrance. Once he arrives, families will be afforded the opportunity to snap some photos with him.

A vacation in Maui will allow adults and children alike to capture both sides of summer and winter.

Catch all the splashing, holiday fun in Hawaii aboard a boutique cruise!

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