I’m a Maui girl. This gorgeous island has given me the most beautiful childhood I could imagine and has provided a wonderful place for me as an adult. It holds everything that is dear to me on one small rock in the middle of the Pacific. Award winning and exquisite, Maui is much more than a great vacation spot. It is an endless book of lessons from our ancestors and an incubator for modern technology. It’s the perfect location to remotely run a global business yet the perfect place for a breezy nap in a hammock. It is full of happiness and opportunity, exploding with potential in every aspect. I love this. And for creating all this, I love Maui’s people. Warm, kind-hearted, and overly generous. I mean, we surely all have those Auntie’s and Grandma’s that live to stuff your belly with yummy, homemade goodies every time you’re over. Or that Uncle that makes the most perfectly salty smoked meat you’ve ever tasted. This love of food, value of family and abundance of friends that become family is what makes Maui Maui. Simply said, it’s the people - the sweet moms, comedic dads, kolohe brothers, loud aunties, crazy uncles, best friends who turn out to be lifelong sisters and local surfer boy heartbreaks that make you stronger…a lifetime of love, lessons and laughs that I’m overly thankful for.
So this is just a quick reminder to really take the time to enjoy the holiday season. Before we know it, we’re exhausted from holiday parties and 2015 is knocking at the door. Being in the retail industry especially, we can easily overlook the real meaning of Christmas as we plan for the biggest sales and try to take advantage of all the Black Friday steals for ourselves. Trust me, I know this all too well. Every time a cute bag or pair of new boots pop up in my email inbox, it takes an immense amount of restraint not to click on it! So no, reading this blog post isn’t going to make your Christmas list any shorter nor will it make the season any longer…but it may inspire you to reflect. It may give you a sentimental gift idea or motivate you to buy a gift for a child in need. It might dare you to shop 100% local this season. Or it might just spark a smile. Whatever it is, all I ask is that you take a moment to enjoy this holiday season, be happy and spend time with the people that make life worth living.
Now that our shopping should be coming to an end (hopefully!), its on to the wrapping!!!! Here's a cute, fun, festive and sustainable wrapping option. This brand new Maui company, started by Sara Smith, has definitely brightened my holiday season! With amazingly fresh designs and fabulous not-too-Christmasesque colors (I'm sooooo over red and green), I fell in love with this paper! All of them are made from 100% recycled newspaper and printed with soy ink here on Maui! Oh, and to top it off, they're reversible! There's even a cute black and white one that you can have the keiki color (photo below). You can get this paper at Mana Foods in Paia or just check out their website by clicking here! Aaaaahh I'm so proud of how cute my gifts are....thanks Sara :)
I've always loved wrapping presents during the holidays. Its about as important to me as decorating a Christmas tree, baking some festive desserts, playing the Nsync "Home for Christmas" album or drinking a gingerbread martini (Outback Steakhouse has a surprisingly delicious one;). The only issue is, Christmas wrapping is expensive! And I need a lot of it! So every year I try to find a way around this (to see past year's wrapping ideas, click here, here and here). I try to use something laying around the house. This year, I used black construction paper! If you're like me, you buy your paper in assorted color packs and use everything but the black! So I decided to try to make black festive. All you need is black paper, sparkly DecoColor pens and some ribbon! Create your own designs and personalize your wrapping paper!
Our store windows are very big and finding something creative to put in them is fun, but it also puts a little pressure on us. We like to do things that are unique, creative, and most importantly eye-catching. We have witnessed a lot of "almost accidents" from admirers walking and driving past our store. Last year we teamed up with our beautiful and talented friend Wailani....she is like the Hawaiian Goddess of Creativity. This year we put our ideas together and came up with something pretty amazing. It is creative and fun, but most importantly it reminds us of the real meaning of the holidays.. sharing and giving back!
We got together on a Thursday evening, put on some Mariah Christmas music, and let the creativity flow....
Our tree is constructed out of driftwood I collected after a big North swell. Thousands of pieces were awaiting me at Sandpiles in Waiehu. You need to be strategic when choosing your pieces. Be mindful of the Christmas Tree shape...big at the bottom, small at the top. I suggest laying out your pieces prior to hanging and definitely have someone assist you with the hanging process. Grab some sugi(found at fishing stores) and hang your tree to something stable. This part definitely requires a lot of patience and finesse, but once it is done you won't be disappointed.
String away! Wrap around the branches and light it up!
You can get creative and hang anything you want. Photos, ornaments, plants...nothing is off limits. We bought plain ornaments and decorated each one. We wanted to add a personal touch to each ornament. Some were bedazzled in glitter, wrapped in vintage fabrics, or hand-painted. Our talented tattoo artist and friend Boze Kapoi even tattooed ornaments. Each unique and made with lots of aloha.
Each ornament is for sale with all proceeds going to A KEIKI'S DREAM FOUNDATION which helps kids on Maui. Attached to each ornament is a special discount to use in our store.
We couldn't be happier with our beautiful Maui Thing Christmas Tree. The most important part of this whole process was the moments my friends and I shared creating it. We ate, drank, laughed, and spent time together talking about life. It was therapeutic and reminds us of the real reason for the holidays....to share moments with people you love.