Tis the Season

How the heck have we already gotten to the middle of December???  My family’s always told me that the years will start passing more and more quickly as I get older, but seriously – this year has flown by!

I’ve always been fortunate enough to receive gifts during the holidays – even if those gifts came from homeless/domestic violence shelters.  And as a kid, there was nothing more exciting than a bright and shiny christmas tree with tons of boxes underneath (my brother and I used to count our gifts – eventually realizing that whoever had fewer gifts probably got something of higher value).  To Child-Haley, it was the most wonderful time of the year!

Eventually something shifted for me.  During my college years (when I became a poor college kid), all I truly wanted during the holiday season was to escape the freezing Oregon rain and come home to my ‘ohana.   I envied my mainland classmates (if only I could just take a 3 hour bus ride to be in my mom’s arms again!), but found true camaraderie in them as the holidays drew near. Rather than craving gifts for the holidays, I began to crave people.  Relationships.  Time.

Over time, Ben and I have let our ‘ohana know that we don’t celebrate the holidays with material things (they already think we’re crazy, so it’s cool).  Instead, on Christmas eve every year, our ‘ohana has made it a tradition to volunteer.  From sun up to sun down, we wrap gifts for donation to support our local domestic violence shelter on Maui at our local Borders.  Because we live on an island – and books are the perfect gift for anyone – we see heaps of people during the day and the time FLIES!

Although I don’t necessarily give or receive gifts for the holiday season, I’ve decided that this is the perfect time to showcase a few of the local products I think would make great gifts (you know, for those of you who do).  Plus, it’s nice to give and get something special once in a while – regardless of the occasion.

Disclaimer: I choose to support local for various reasons (which you can read about here).  Being from Maui, I have chosen to showcase Maui products and artists.  Know that, no matter where you live, there are local products to be found [although I would also love for you to support my local economy, too 😉 ].

1. Lavender Essential Oil by Ali`i Kula Lavender [Kula] – $12.00

Ali`i and the incredible staff at AKL bottle this essential oil from the kajillion (technical term) lavender plants that grow on the slopes of Haleakala.  Many people use the oil to relieve tension and tiredness as well as to relax.  I place a drop on my temples, my chest, and the soles of my feet before I go to bed and sleep like a baby.  Ben uses it on his mosquito bites and heat rash.  Lavender oil is also antimicrobial, anti-septic, and a decongestant.  Also, just so you know, AKL makes awesome products and anything would be a great gift –  lavender-rosemary gardener salve and lavender gourmet seasoning are a couple of my other faves.

2. An Initial Visit and Care Package with Dr. Tracey Wright at Livity Cafe of Life [Ha`iku] – (prices vary)

Livity Cafe of Life offers truly exceptional gentle and loving vitalistic family chiropractic care.  Getting adjusted weekly has absolutely changed my life from the inside out–bringing such love and light into my life and making me a brighter, more accepting individual.  Dr. Tracey is an incredible healer to all, and is especially talented with children and pregnant mamas!  Let your light shine through with chiropractic care!

3. Yoga Capris by Inner Waves Organic Clothing [Ha`iku] -($54.00)

I’ve been in love with my Luana capris since I got them over two years ago.  I found out about the company when I worked at a yoga studio and met the owners (and their adorable children!).  These guys create great yoga clothing and often have specials, so it’s not ridiculously over-priced.

4. A 30-Day Unlimited Pass for Om Maui [Pukalani] – (on sale now for $120!)

Give the gift of health!  Om Maui offers unique, one-of-a-kind fitness classes that bridge the gap between group exercise and personal training!  Oh, and have I mentioned that they also have super cute Brazilian workout clothes and bikinis as well as jewelry?

5. Dark Chocolate Covered Macadamia Nuts by Maui Specialty Chocolates [Kahului] – (prices vary)

Owner/chocolatier Valerie Jones, a born-and-raised Maui girl, runs this shop and takes pride in making almost all the chocolates herself.  Maui Specialty Chocolates initially made chocolates for Maui’s luxury resorts and hotels.  Her high-quality chocolates, which are made of the freshest ingredients, soon became highly-sought after so  she and her husband began to sell directly to the public by opening a retail store.  I always love visiting the shop because there are always fun local creations that I can’t find anywhere else on island (like peanut butter/chocolate mochi and chocolate-dipped mochi crunch!). Lucky you live Maui, because the only way to get these gourmet chocolates is to buy directly from Maui Specialty Chocolates – they don’t wholesale to any other retail store!

6. Carmela Orchid from Tropical Gardens of Maui [`Iao Valley] – $18.00

You may remember Ben and my adventures at the Tropical Gardens of Maui last month.  The place rocks. Period.  So whether you go to pick up an orchid, send tropical flowers, or take a stroll around their gorgeous grounds, I’m sure you’ll come out happy :).



7. Tropical Style with Terragon by Volcano Spice Company [Makawao] – (~$7.00)

Tropical Style combines the natural sweetness of tarragon with lemon zest, Garlic and island style spices.  It is a staple in our home and delicious on eggs, potatoes and veggies (click here to see how I use it and here to see our visit to the shop in Makawao).

8. Gift Certificate for Requests Record Shop [Wailuku] – (prices vary)

Requests is Maui’s only true record shop (and my husband’s favorite place to be!).  For such a modest-sized shop, these guys really have a lot to offer – including new and used CDs, some used DVDs, and vinyls.  If you ask nicely, they also order things for you if it’s not on hand.

9. Homemade Beeswax Candles from sellers at the Upcountry Farmer’s Market [Kula] – ($6.00-$12.00 per pair)

These candles are made of beeswax from upcountry Maui.  Not only do they smell like honey (word!) but they’ve got a great texture and will last for 3-6 hours per candle.

10. Gourmet Fruit Quark by Surfing Goat Dairy [`Oma`opio] – ($16.00 for 6 oz jar)

You can’t beat this award-winning goat cheese quark made with fresh organic lilikoi (passion fruit), Tahitian lime, honey, and/or Kula strawberries (flavors vary according to season).  The lilikoi quark is sweet yet tangy and oh so smooth and fresh!  Ono Gelato makes a killer Lilikoi Quark Gelato with this stuff as a base, too, if you’re willing to drive to Pa`ia.  (To see our adventures at the goat dairy, click here.)

11. Organic River Rock Green Baby Carrier by Ergo Baby [Pukalani] – ($135)

Lately it seems like almost everyone I know is either expecting or a new parent.  If you don’t know, this is one of the greatest gifts for families with keiki!  They’re ergonomic (Dr. Tracey Wright helped develop an ergonomic infant insert), comfortable (!), allow you to connect heart-to-heart with your baby in a hands-free manner, and last through many stages of baby’s growth.  Although Ergo Baby owner Karin Frost has sold a portion of the company to a mainland buyer, she is still very active in Maui county – often donating to Maui non-profits – and I consider the business to be local.

12. Self-Designed Jewelry by Ho`omaika`i Jewelry (shameless self-promotion) [Pukalani] – (prices vary)

Work with me to design your (or a loved-one’s) perfect piece!  Kama`aina and bulk options are also available.

These are just a few of the many great local products offered right here on Maui!  Places like the Swap Meet are chock-filled with local people and products!  Support our island community economy and buy local!

Happy gift giving, everyone!

How do you celebrate the holidays? What are you hoping to receive this year?


3 thoughts on “Tis the Season

  1. Katie says:

    Hi Haley,

    I just found your blog through blog hopping, and I LOVE it. Healthy living, reflections on life, AND an emphasis on creativity ? Exactly what I’ve been looking for. I totally understand the struggle between balancing relationships, school, work, working out and art. Basically…you have a new reader. 🙂

    In my family, we usually spend Christmas Eve with one side of the family, and Christmas Day with the other.

    I’m hoping to receive a new sketchbook, and a yoga tank. (My dream gift? A SUP’ing board. But I think i’m just going to work hard for that one myself).

    • greenplatedinners says:

      Hi Katie! Aww, thank you so much! I’m so glad you like the blog 🙂 When I was a kid we used to do the same thing with Christmas eve and Christmas. Do you live in Hawai’i (I’m trying to figure out where else someone might be from to want a SUP board, haha).

      I just went to your website – you are incredibly talented and I love your artist statement ❤

      • Katie says:

        I wish I lived in Hawai’i! I visited Maui two summers ago and that’s where I first sup’ed. I actually live on Long Island in New York, specifically the south shore where the good beaches are. ( I don’t know if you’re familiar with Long Island, but the north shore opens onto the LI Sound. The south shore is open ocean.)

        My boyfriend and I rent paddle boards from this kayak place, but I’d LOVE to have my own. We each have surf boards, but I want to be able to sup when it’s flat. Which was most of the summer. :/

        And thanks for the art compliment. 🙂 That’s something I’ve been pushing aside lately and I need to prioritize again.

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