I’ve never believed in Santa Claus, though not for lack of trying. Mom says she’d try—and fail—to encourage me, but finally gave up. I guess there’s no convincing inherently cocked-brow keiki of anything (especially regarding the third-creepiest holiday character, after the Tooth Fairy and Cupid). But as silly as I’ve always found Santa, I’m no Scrooge. Keiki should have their Christmastime fun—and there’s plenty to be found this week. While you’re finishing up last-minute gift buying at the Lahaina Arts Society’s banyan tree craft fair, keiki can engage themselves in Christmas craft projects and enjoy the cool tickle of professional face painting (December 24 & 26; 11am-4pm). You can also send your right-brained babies (ages 5 and up) to Camp Kalaunui’s “Winter Wonderland” at the Hui No’eau for a week’s worth of wintertime arts immersion (December 23-29; 9am-4pm), or join artistic forces in the Makena Beach & Golf Resort’s sandman building contest, for a chance to win great prizes (December 23; 10-11:30am). For kids eager to meet the Big Guy in person, unique ways abound. Santa sails in to the Maluaka Beach (in front of the resort formerly known as the Prince), and brings with him helper elves and a big bag of free treats (December 24; 10-11:30am). Also, Scuba Claus makes daily appearances at the Maui Ocean Center, wearing a special dive mask that allows him to interact with audiences while he’s immersed in the aquarium’s Open Ocean exhibit (through December 25; 11am & 3pm).
Maybe you’ve never baked a bun in your oven. Maybe your stork’s gift has already flown the coop. Maybe you snagged the last available babysitter between here and Bermuda. Whatever your reason, if you’re not staying up ’til 2am playing Santa—but want to stay up late anyway—there’s an after-dark X-mas party perfect for you. Upcountry, Casanova hosts a “Nightmare B4 X-mas Party” (dress in black!) featuring booty bass, hip hop and dubstep by DJ Kurt (December 24; 9:45pm). Plus, return on Christmas night for “It’s a White Christmas Party” (dress in white!), a benefit for the Maui Food Bank and The Source featuring the funky, old school spins of DJ Sweet Beets and DJ SID (December 25; 9:45pm). On the West side, support Lahainaluna’s Class of 2001 by attending their fundraiser at Lulu’s Lahaina with An Den and Sounds of Addiction (December 23; 9pm); or look cool lounging on Timba’s plush, eggnog-colored seats while sipping something saucy (December 24; 9pm-2am). South-siders are spoilt for choice with Oceans Beach Bar & Grill’s Christmas Eve-Eve hip hop event (December 23; 10pm), a rockin’ X-mas Eve party at Diamonds (December 24; 10pm), and yet another bash at Three’s Bar & Grill (December 24; 10pm). Also, Ambrosia hosts hopping dance parties on both Christmas Eve and Christmas day, with “Ambrosia’s Next Top DJ” winner DJ Mats and DJ Decka spinning. Of course, Mulligans on the Blue offers something festive any night of the week. The Willie K Christmas Series continues with Uncle Willie sharing holiday tunes (December 23, 27, 28 & 29; 7-9pm). You can also spend Christmas Eve at Mulligans with the lovely Gail Swanson (December 24; 6:30-8:30pm), or enjoy Christmas dinner while Murray Thorne performs (December 25; 5-8pm).