By Vanessa Wolf
Don’t go to pieces just yet.
There’s still time to pick up something thoughtful for your favorite people or Maui Now writer.
Sure, there are all kinds of touristy Maui gifts available, but do you really want to be photographed next to your spouse while he’s wearing that red dirt shirt you bought him in a panic?
Happily, there are other ways you can support local businesses and take care of your last-minute Christmas shopping crisis with some cool Maui-made products.
Booze to the Rescue
Made by Haleakala Distillers, Okolehao Liqueur is a unique adult beverage as it is the only distilled spirit truly indigenous to Hawaii. Made from East Maui Ti Root, the beverage has been described as a mix between rum and tequila. Haleakala Distillers’ version is a liqueur, so anticipate using as a cool addition to a mixed drink rather than something served on the rocks.
You can find a 750 ml bottle for $28.99 at the Hawaii Liquor Superstore in Kahului.
Boobie Shack Stuff
Someone on your list not the drinking type? Perhaps they’d prefer a t-shirt from the Boobie Shack?
Maui native Ina Tagaloa is a world-class surf instructor. A few years ago, he was surfing and got shacked (a term use to describe surfing through the barrel of a wave). At the other end of the barrel were some mammary glands…and inspiration hit.
Combining his vision with the less obvious booby birds found here in the islands, Tagaloa now sells a variety of clothing items with his Boobie Shack branding on it.
You can pick up anything from hoodies to trucker hats online or at his shop at 62 Ohukai Road in Kihei.
Soap is Still Cool, Right?
Perhaps you’re seeking a kind way to suggest a friend shower more often?
Kula Herbs Excellent Soap is handmade, one batch at a time. You can pick up a set of three ($11.99) or five ($15.99) bars of lathery goodness in scents like alaea, coconut moon, hemp scrub, lavender and lemongrass sage at Whole Foods. Other varieties are also available online.
Cats are More Fun than Nintendos
Maybe this is the year you cave and give your child something with a beating heart?
You’re in luck: if there is one thing the local cat population is good at…it’s making more cats.
Currently, the Maui Humane Society is having a “Whisker Wonderland” promotion, offering $25 off adoptions Monday through Friday.
Here’s a real cutie incongruently named Ebony, but you can call her whatever you want.
According to the description, “Ebony is a lynx point female Siamese mix. She is approximately 5-years-old. She weighs about 10.02 lbs. She has been spayed. Ebony is an outgoing gal with a heart of gold. She is usually the first one to greet you in the Cat Ohana. Always up for cuddles, leg rubs or just following you around. Ebony came to us on 11/30/12 when her owners decided she was ready for a new family and knew we could find her the right one. If you think you might be the right one, come on down and ask for Ebony.”
We’re not sure what “ready for a new family” means, but clearly this kitty got the shaft. Right that wrong and bring someone home who’s certain to get more enjoyment out of your round Christmas tree ornaments than you ever thought possible.
Jam with Attitude
If you’ve ever made a trip to the Kula Lavender farm, you know the purple flower isn’t just for sachets anymore. That stated, if you need a little hostess gift or a couple “back up” items for unexpected or impromptu gift exchanges, jams fit the bill.
This season, the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm is offering two unique options. The Lavender Strawberry Pepper Jam ($10.23 for 7.5 ounces) is made with Maui strawberries and the earthy flavor of lavender and Hawaiian Chili peppers for a sweet-yet-spicy preserve. Popular over cream cheese with crackers, it can also be used as a grilling glaze for poultry, seafood, beef, pork, or lamb.
They’re also featuring a Lavender Lilikoi Jelly (7.5 ounces for $9.25) made with Maui-grown passion fruit and infused with lavender. Put it on your holiday ham or add it to to marinades and barbeque sauces for a unique island twist.
Well, who doesn’t love cold hard cash?
Ho ho ho and happy holidays!
Have an idea for a fun or thought-provoking story? Get in touch: we want to hear from you. -Vanessa (@mauinow.com)