disney moana

In “Moana,” Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming big-screen adventure, a spirited teenager named Moana (left) sails out on a daring mission to prove herself a master wayfinder. Along the way, she meets once-mighty demi-god Maui (right). Featuring Native Hawaiian newcomer Auli’i Cravalho as the voice of Moana, and Dwayne Johnson as the voice of Maui, “Moana” sails into U.S. theaters on Nov. 23, 2016. ©2015 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

If you haven’t seen Moana yet, please stop reading this post and buy your tickets now. It is so gorgeous to look at and so uplifting. Disney couldn’t have timed this release better. Dang.

But this isn’t a review. This is my guide to giving yourself a Moana – themed Christmas tree. Here’s what I’d do…

First, we’re going to eschew traditional Christmas trees and go for as realistic an artificial palm tree as the budget will support. I like this one from Houzz that gives you two trunks and more room to decorate.

artificial palm tree

Next, we’re going to remove the tree from its awkwardly tall basket and affix it to a more traditional tree stand or some nailed-together boards– whatever will give us the freedom to swaddle the base of the tree(s) in this red batik cloth from Fabric.om that’s evocative of Moana’s top…

red batik fabric

… then allow us to place this gorgeous sea glass wreath (that reminds me of the sparkling ocean in the movie) from Etsy seller AShoreThingCreations on top of the fabric.

sea glass wreath

The lights I’ve chosen for this tree are conch shells from Etsy seller FloridaShellGirl that have been strung and lit. Conch shells lead Moana into the ocean, and they belong on this tree.

conch lights

To bring Maui’s tattoos into the tree, I like these tribal ornaments from Zazzle.

polynesian tattoo ornaments

I found some great, authentic carved fish hook necklaces on Etsy that were similar to Maui’s magic fish hook, but since JC Penney (of all places) has a deal on “Disney Moana Playset” fish hooks that are about the same price but easier to buy in bulk, I would add a few of those.

disney moana fish hook maui

The palm trees that give Moana’s people so much are coconut palms, but the artificial palm trees I picked are not, so I found these cool artificial coconuts on SaveOnCrafts.com that you can add.


Finally, although I do try to keep away from being *too* literal in my themed trees, I feel like the presentation would be incomplete without the ridiculous chicken that steals several moments in the film, Heihei. (Pronounced “Hey, hey!”) Just let this guy from the Disney Store hang out under the tree, maybe upside-down or facing the wall. 

disney moana heihei

OK, now go see Moana.

moana christmas tree

See my other themed trees here. 

Leona Laurie