Holiday gift guide
The holidays are upon us and, if you're like us, the season has probably caught up to you faster than you were prepared for. Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, this time of the year is often associated with showing appreciation through the act of giving, and we've compiled a modest selection of gift ideas, from small stocking stuffers to fine furniture, that are perfect for the conscientious consumer.
Pono Soap Dirty Politics
The Dirty Politics ($8, 5oz) beauty bar for men and women not only soothes and moisturizes skin but also helps fade acne scars. Pono Soap's ethically sourced, organic, vegan soaps and beauty products are handmade in Hawaiʻi and make great stocking stuffers. They are free of artificial dyes, palm oil (the use of which contributes to deforestation) and pesticides and were created without animal testing, and without exploitative labor practices. Pono Soap is a subsidiary of the Pacific Alliance to Stop Slavery (PASS), and a portion of the proceeds from each sale benefits houseless families and survivors of human trafficking.
Mauna Kea Tea Sampler
After extensive travel and study in tea production and culture, Taka and Kimberly Ino founded Mauna Kea Tea on the Big Island of Hawaiʻi. The certified-organic farm uses sustainable practices to raise eight varietals of green tea while minimizing pollution and maintaining soil fertility. There's even a whole section on the Mauna Kea Tea website devoted to helping you learn about growing, cultivating and enjoying green tea. Try the Green Tea Sampler with Ginger & Turmeric Green Tea, Coconut Green Tea and Sweet Roast Green Tea in a convenient set ($15).
Shop Toast Kokeshi Gift Box
No, they don't sell bread; it's toast as in “cheers!” This small, Kaimukī mini product design studio and gift shop sells customized party favors and year-round stocking stuffers handmade in Honolulu. Their Kokeshi Gift Boxes ($12 –18) are wooden dolls with secret compartments to hold a smaller gift! Wood display ornaments, charms, stationary and many other gifts are also available online or at the Waiʻalae Avenue location
Honolulu Pen Shop Fountain Pen
Treat the literati in your life to an upgrade in writerly firepower. Stop by the Honolulu Pen Shop in Mōʻiliʻili and peruse the collection of beautifully crafted pens for the just the right instrument to say, “Thank you, for writing such pleasant sentences.”
Bar Leather Apron Gift Coins
In limited quantities, Bar Leather Apron (BLA) gift coins are available in $20 and $100 denominations. But, honestly, if you gave us one, we'd be tempted to keep it rather than trade it in. Only available at BLA and Leather Soul downtown location.
Madre Chocolate KoHana Rum Chocolate Bar
Two of our favorite brands, Madre Chocolate and KoHana Rum (from Manulele Distillers), have teamed up to make something special: it's single, heirloom Hawaiian varietal sugar cane rum agricole meets locally produced chocolate bars.
The agricole style of rum is made from the fresh sugar cane juice rather than the molasses. This means the rum maintains many of the beautiful fruity, floral and grassy notes of the sugar cane varieties. Manulele wanted to make a cacao infused rum, so they contacted Madre Chocolate (because the guys at Madre know their cacao) and the guys at Madre realized that such a collaboration between the brands could actually yield two products: the cacao-infused rum, and a rum-infused chocolate bar.
Grinding the rum-soaked cacao nibs into chocolate gives the KoHana Rum chocolate bar ($11) a nice yeasty overtone, like a well barrel-aged rum. The rum also pulls out a lot of the bitterness from the nibs, so even at 60 percent, the bar tastes more like a 50 percent.
Moké's Bread & Breakfast Lanikai Coffee
Local Hawaiian coffee finished in Bourbon and Tequila barrels. We've been straight eating the tequila-finished coffee beans at work. Pick up a bag at Moké's Bread & Breakfast in Kailua.
Nā Mea Hawaiʻi Ka Hopita: A I ʻOle, I Laulā a Hoʻi Hou Mai
The beloved fantasy classic for readers of all ages about a hobbit called Bilbo Baggins who is whisked off on an unexpected journey by Gandalf the wizard and a company of thirteen dwarves is now available, for the first time, in Hawaiian, through a superb translation by R. Keao NeSmith. The book ($37.95) includes all the drawings and maps originally created by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Hobbit was originally written by Professor Tolkien for his own children, and met with instant critical acclaim when published. Now its the perfect gift for lovers of Hawaiian language and the fantastic world of Tolkien.
René Redzepi: A Work in Progress
A fascinating and innovative new three-book collection from Chef René Redzepi, A Work in Progress: Journal, Recipes and Snapshots ($39.96, Amazon) includes a personal journal written by Redzepi during the course of a full year in which he explores creativity, innovation and the meaning and challenges of success; a beautiful cookbook with 100 brand new recipes from his award-winning nordic cuisine restaurant Noma; and a pocket book of candid Instagram-style snapshots taken by the restaurant staff behind the scenes and at its annual MAD Food Symposium. The cookbook is organized in a calendar year format with each month featuring an assortment of seasonal dishes, such as Icy Sloe Berries and Brown Cheese Ganache; Trash Cooking with Leeks; Oxtail and Blueberries; Fresh Tender Squid and Whitecurrent Broth; and Spicy and Sweet Cucumber and Pickled Elderflowers. Trigger alert for creative types and foodies!
Bialetti Moka Express 6 Cup Espresso Maker
Since the 1950s, Bialetti has manufactured over 200 million coffee makers. In particular, the Moka Express has become iconic and has allowed millions of consumers to enjoy great Italian coffee. The Moka produces a rich, authentic espresso in just minutes, and the aluminum pot features Bialetti’s distinctive eight-sided shape, designed for efficient heat diffusion and aroma enhancement. We suggest the 6 cup model ($34.99), but its also available in 1, 3, 9 and 12 cup models as well.
Keep Wild Co. Explorer Quote Book
Chef, diver, blogger and shop curator Kimi Werner's new Keep Wild Co. features craft products that are designed with quality, function and style in mind. With the scale of today’s mass consumerism, more is not better and, with that in mind, KW curates hand-made, ethically-sourced products that are fundamental to our daily lives with high standards of style and durability, ensuring that they are used and cherished longer. The clean, online-shop features products for the home as well as jewelry and “on-the-go” products like the Explorer Quote Book ($42), a pocket-sized journal ready to capture inspiration when it strikes, whether it’s quotes that speak to your heart, words that provoke thought or motivate, or little sketches that capture the moment. The readiness is all!
Faribault Foot Soldier Blanket
The Faribault Woolen Mill Company (est. and still made in Faribault, Minnesota, since 1865) started making blankets for the U.S. military and its academies in the 1890s, and still does to this day. The Foot Soldier Blanket (Gray/Gold/Black, $200) is based on the ones Faribault has created for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point Military for over a century, right down to its distinctive black and gold serged edge. The blanket is 100 percent wool, 64"x90", 4.5 lbs, machine washable and made in America.
Texas Rover Company Humphrey Chair
Made of spalted, reclaimed Texas pecan wood with brass bolts, carbon steel and strong, supple and beautiful leather, the Humphrey Chair ($1,599) is both portable for use on the road and elegant enough for home use too. Careful attention to detail and commitment to quality makes this a crafted piece of art that will last for generations, sourced and produced entirely in Texas.
SIBU Skincare 3-Step Skin Essentials
Made from buckthorn berries grown in the Himalayan Highlands, the SIBU (sea berry therapy) skincare system helps keeps skin beautiful and healthy. This easy and effective three step system (Cleansing Face & Body Bar, Sea Berry Seed Oil and Nourishing Face Cream) all packaged up in a clear SIBU vinyl bag, is great for traveling. And its on sale for the holidays (normally $52.85, now $39.95). SIBU trade practices promote equal and sustainable relationships between the company and the villagers who harvest and process the berries. This includes fair wages, processes that are environmentally sustainable, and healthy, safe working conditions.
BYCHARI Spaced Letter Necklace
Designer Cheri Cuthbert creates handmade jewelry, here in Hawaiʻi, including this custom Spaced Letter Necklace ($245). Simple and understated, the spaced lettering in 14K white gold can be customized to fit names between 3–10 letters in length on a 16", 18" or 20" chain. (Requires 2–4 weeks to produce.)
K_O Brand “BombPops” Nike Roshe Sneakers
This pair of custom airbrushed sneakers from Los Angeles-based custom shoe company Kickasso Kustoms is wearable art. There's a lot of great designs to choose from, but we dig the “BompPops” design ($190). (Takes 2–4 weeks.)
Cole Haan Grand.OS ZeroGrand Shoe
Dressy, lightweight, comfortable, durable, long lasting—great for when you have to look sharp but still walk a marathon at work—the Grand.OS is designed to reduce weight, mimic your foot's natural flexibility and provide responsive cushioning throughout the course of your daily adventure. Available for men and women in a variety of styles ($220–300).
Naked Cow Dairy Cheese & Wine Tasting Tour
Oʻahu's only dairy farm, the small, family-style Naked Cow Dairy Farm and Creamery, offers great tours for keiki to learn about farm animals and the process of creating cream and butter. For those of legal drinking age, the dairy also offers private cheese and wine tasting tours to groups of 5–25 people ($50 per person). Take your food and wine loving friends and family members to an outing in beautiful Waiʻanae and support an ethical, local food-producing business at the same time! Email: Tours@nakedcowdairyhawaii.com to set yours up.
Hawaii Symphony Orchestra Gift Certificate
Give the gift of music with Hawaii Symphony Orchestra vouchers for any amount that can be redeemed toward any performance within one calendar year of purchase. Let your friends and family choose the performance that sounds the most interesting to them and let them broaden their musical horizons!
America the Beautiful National Parks Pass
A great gift for your adventurous friends and relatives living in the continental United States, this annual pass ($80) gets them a ticket to explore more than 2,000 national parks, wildlife refuges, forests and grasslands administered by six different federal agencies in the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands system.
Further a Cause
In some ways, one of the most meaningful things you can do this season is give to a charity or nonprofit that is actively doing good in our communities and in the world in the name of a friend or loved one. We've compiled a very small list of just some of the many organizations working to make a difference that could use your help: