Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Tuesday, May 28, 2024 75° Today's Paper


Photo Galleries

Things We Love: Holiday Gift Guide 2018

1/24
Swipe or click to see more

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

With all the merriment of the holiday season also comes the stress as we spread ourselves thin trying to juggle a multitude of tasks. Why not give someone special a short respite from all the hubbub with a massage at the Halekulani hotel? For the month of December, SpaHalekulani is offering a promotion on two of its massages. Head, Neck & Shoulder Relief focuses on releasing tension in the upper body, using Elemental Herbology’s Muscle Melt Balm to ease aches and increase circulation. The balm is discounted 10 percent this month; regularly $70 for a 1.7-ounce container. The Holiday Leg & Foot Recovery treatment is perfect for those constantly on the run (or for actual runners in next Sunday’s marathon). Its restorative treatment includes a peppermint green clay masque and bergamot foot rub. Each 40-minute treatment (normally 30 minutes) costs $125; valet parking is complimentary. Call 931-5322 or purchase a gift card online at 808ne.ws/halekulani. — E. Clarke Reilly
2/24
Swipe or click to see more

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Obama Mints — tiny tins filled with fruit-flavored candies — are a reminder of those not-so-distant times when Hawaii’s favorite son was president and would vacation in our midst. For an Obama lover the tins help recall glory days, for the nonlover, they could be a gag gift. As a bonus, the candies are quite tasty — in mango or pineapple flavors — and the tins are reusable. Carry some pills, or maybe a few pinches of snuff, if that’s your thing. One design shows the ex-prez in aloha shirt and lei; the second has him with the missus. Another set of tins features the current president, although they are far less respectful. My favorite calls him “Trumpty Dumpty” and makes fun of his wall. Sold at ABC Stores for $3.49. — Betty Shimabukuro
3/24
Swipe or click to see more

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Less than a full-on gift, more than a simple card, CocoNene wooden postcards are a nice in-between gift. There’s a neat simplicity to them: Write a message on the back and drop one in the mail; no envelope, no wrapping. On the receiving end it can be part of the holiday decor. CocoNene, a new offshoot of Pictures Plus, designs and prints the postcards at its Kapolei facility. They come in holiday and nonholiday themes, all managing to say “I’m in Hawaii and you’re not,” in a colorful, retro way. Two stamps send your aloha throughout the U.S. The cards are $10 each, or four for $30, and can be mixed-and-matched with CocoNene’s coasters, luggage tags and door hangers. Find them at Island Sole and Pictures Plus stores, or order via coconene.com. At Pictures Plus you can have custom postcards made with your own photos. — Betty Shimabukuro
4/24
Swipe or click to see more

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

Even if we don’t get actual snow on Oahu, you can create your own snowflakes with these unique Yuki snow pencils by Trinus. Made in Japan, the pencils are constructed from a recycled eco-friendly material and create snowflake-shaped shavings when sharpened. The pencil leads offer a smooth stroke and come in white, silver and gold. Also available is a set of Christmas-themed colored pencils: green (tree shape), red (poinsettia) and gold (snowflake). Each set of three, which includes a sharpener, is $16 at Mono, 2013 S. King St. Call 955-1595. — E. Clarke Reilly
5/24
Swipe or click to see more

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

These notebooks make a fun gift for someone who prefers something useful and anything but typical. Local stationary company Bradley & Lily makes pretty and colorful large- and mini-notebooks printed on 100 percent recycled paper. Designer Stacey Nomura designs all the cover art, often inspired by her ohana’s experiences. A strawberry mini-notebook, for example, is a tribute to her strawberry-farming parents. There are notebooks for foodies: gold-foil pineapple, ulu (breadfruit) and shave ice. Designs are also born of customer requests, such as a mermaid (Nomura sketched her daughter Lily’s face onto a colorful “Mermaizing” mini-notebook). Bradley & Lily aims to unveil six new notebook designs each year, says Ian Nomura, Stacey’s husband and co-owner of the company named for their children. Include one of Stacey’s whimsical greeting cards to round out your gift. Notebooks are about $4 to $8. Cards run about $4 to $4.50 each. Find them at Bradley & Lily’s boutique, South Shore Paperie, 1016 Kapahulu Ave., at Hakubundo in Ward Village or at bradleyandlily.com. — Diane S. W. Lee
6/24
Swipe or click to see more

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

At Mono in Moiliili, shop owners Dean and Cassy Song marry a keen sense of design with high-quality practical goods. Along with offering office supplies and homeware, Dean Song handcrafts leather goods including this handy catchall tray. A great gift for travelers or anyone looking for a place to keep track of coins, jewelry or keys, the tray unsnaps and can be packed flat. Song can create custom trays with different colored leathers and snaps. He uses a 1920s Kwikprint hot-stamp machine to deboss the trays with the Mono logo or you can have it monogrammed for free. The 6-1/2-by-4-1/2-inch catchall tray is $50 at Mono, 2013 S. King St. Call 955-1595. — E. Clarke Reilly
7/24
Swipe or click to see more

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

The best Christmas gift can be something someone wants but would never buy for themselves. For Kalapana fans this recently released seven-CD boxed set, “Kalapana: The Original Album Collection” ($84.89; manifesto.com) is a great gift. In addition to the four landmark albums the group recorded during its boom years in Hawaii, there are three obscure albums recorded after Kalapana relocated to Japan. Those last three albums weren’t released here back in the day. They’re archival curiosities recorded after most of the original members were gone, but for fans who want a complete Kalapana collection — they’re essential. — John Berger
8/24
Swipe or click to see more

PHOTOS BY CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Packing to attend an elegant San Francisco wedding, my husband reached for his English shirt with French cuffs — but couldn’t find his cuff links. After searching for replacements without the dreaded bling, I know he’ll love Na Hoku’s classy Tapa cuff links in sterling silver, black enamel and koa wood ($289), shown here on a sumptuous, 100 percent cotton, white Canali shirt ($275 at Bloomingdale’s Ala Moana), or fierce shark heads in sterling silver with a cool gunmetal finish ($149). At Na Hoku stores or nahoku.com. — Mindy Pennybacker
9/24
Swipe or click to see more

PHOTOS BY CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

These lovely stained-glass figures are created by local artist Marjorie “Momi” Goodloe, using techniques refined by the famed Louis Comfort Tiffany of Tiffany House. Goodloe has attached nightlight fixtures to them to create a warm, colorful glow. She also uses them to decorate jewelry boxes. Various flower designs and the mermaid are available for $32 at Nohea Gallery, which has storefronts at Kahala Mall, Waikiki, Ala Moana and Ward Villages. — Steven Mark
10/24
Swipe or click to see more

GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

With the birth of my daughter a few years ago, our family started a tradition of picking up the annual Iolani Palace Christmas ornament for our tree. Not only are these items elegant, they also showcase the rich history of the Kingdom of Hawaii. This year’s ornament is based on the historic Imperial Royal Order of Alexander Nevsky, an impressive piece of jewelry made with 609 diamonds totaling 16.6 carats. Presented to King David Kalakaua in 1884, it recently was donated to the palace by the estate of Regina Kawananakoa. I’m looking forward to adding one to the collection of ornaments passed down to me from my parents and grandparents that hang from our tree each year. Priced at $25, the ornament is sold at the palace. Call 532-1050. — Jason Genegabus
11/24
Swipe or click to see more

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

At best, giving someone a sponge for Christmas would be a mixed message: Merry Christmas, now go clean up after yourself. But the Unsponge not only appeals to the environmentally conscientious among us, it’s fun and colorful besides. Made by a Detroit-based company started by young mother Kristin Logan, who saw how much waste was involved in raising her baby, the terry-cloth sponges have an anti-microbial core made out of bamboo. They can be washed along with the laundry or in the dishwasher. With a lot of fun designs and made from recycled fabrics, Unsponges would be a good stocking stuffer for a cook who likes color in the kitchen, or for kids who might really need that “clean up after yourself” message. They’re available at Magnolia Boutique & Gallery at the Kahala Mall for $9.95 a pair, or visit naturesreusables.com. — Steven Mark
12/24
Swipe or click to see more

CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARADVERTISER.COM

Nicole Ishida’s Naia Wood Designs is an at-home business selling laser-cut koa jewelry, ornaments, boxes, books, frames, pens and refrigerator magnets. Ishida’s pieces are made with scraps of koa wood reclaimed from wood shops in Honolulu. Her earrings are striking, in the $50 range, but what jumped out at me were her $5 charms — little pineapples, surfboards or initialed hearts — delicate and tiny, the littlest heart about the size of a kernel of corn. They come with jump rings (choose gold or silver), so you could add them to your own chain, or buy them already made into a necklace or bracelet for $45 and up. If you’re a little crafty yourself, use the charms in your own jewelry gift — perhaps a charm bracelet for Mom or Grandma with a monogrammed heart for each child. For all her designs, see Ishida’s Etsy shop, etsy.com/shop/NaiaWoodDesigns. Some of her pieces (not the charms) are carried at Na Mea Hawaii in Ward Centre and Windward Jewelers in Kailua. — Betty Shimabukuro
13/24
Swipe or click to see more

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

I love to receive flowers on special occasions, as well as give them, but shy away from the high prices of a florist shop. The floral sections at Safeway supermarkets are an affordable alternative, and you can customize a bouquet using the variety of flowers and vases available. I’m infatuated with the assortment of fresh roses for $15 to $20 a bunch, and with affordable vases befitting the season, it’s easy to assemble a combination to suit anyone’s taste. Even if you just choose a pot of greenery, there are all sorts of pretty containers, just add a bit of ribbon from home for the final touch. Or ask the assistants at the counter to help you with the little extras. There are novelty items galore to choose from, from stick-in Christmas ornaments to balloons, and playful “statuary” (like elves, Santas, etc.) that are tempting to buy for yourself. This ready-made arrangement was $29.99. — Pat Gee
14/24
Swipe or click to see more

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

My introduction to Jo Malone fragrances was a gift of a lotus blossom and water lily scented candle. It was a divine, clean fragrance. Alas, it’s no longer in rotation. But I have found others in the line to love just as much. This limited-edition bottle of Jo Malone’s English pear and freesia cologne is dressed up for the holidays with festive gold glitter — a lovely gift to introduce someone new to the brand. White freesia, the star of this floral scent, is coupled with the luscious aroma of English pear and a hint of patchouli. The 3.4-ounce bottle is $140 at Bloomingdale’s Ala Moana or online at bloomingdales.com. — E. Clarke Reilly
15/24
Swipe or click to see more

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Louis Pohl Gallery is a treasure trove for paintings, prints and handmade items supremely suitable for gifting. New this year are items created by the gallery’s owner, Sandy Pohl. Her goal is to uplift, with bold colors and positive themes. Pohl’s Dream Tile coasters are splashed with abstract designs that remind me of surf and sunsets. The packaging includes a proverb from Laotzu: “Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” Good reminder to go with the flow! Find the coasters for $10 or two for $17, at the gallery, 1142 Bethel St.; 521-1812. — Elizabeth Kieszkowski
16/24
Swipe or click to see more

GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

There’s a big distinction between this complexion brightener, and the glitter of a straight-up highlighter. The latter is a product young women can use effortlessly, the better to express the vivacity of youth. What women like myself — a few decades further along — need instead is something that brings luminosity to skin that may be a bit short on vivaciousness. Makeup artist Laura Geller delivers exactly that in her Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminator, a powder-turned-cream product that imparts refined shimmer rather than outright sparkle. Dust the tops of cheekbones, bridge of the nose and more to lend brightness and a dewy effect to the face, decolletage, even shoulders. As Geller herself says, “It takes your makeup from wow to wowee!” Find it in various hues at Macy’s, Ulta Beauty, laurageller.com and on home-shopping channel QVC. A .16-ounce gelato goes for $26, but check around for special holiday deals. — Joleen Oshiro
17/24
Swipe or click to see more

GEORGE F. LEE / GLEE@STARADVERTISER.COM

We all start the day with the best of intentions, the pulled-together look of a fresh-washed face done up with powder, some carefully drawn eyeliner, lipstick blotted just right. But after a quick bite of pastry and coffee, the in-tray has filled up. There’s the grab-and-go lunch before rushing into a meeting, another cup of joe to keep up the pace. Then a glance in the mirror reveals the pale reflection of lip color long faded away. What to do? Pick up Tarte’s Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint, a richly pigmented, transfer-proof, long-wearing liquid lipstick. With 27 shades, there’s a color for everyone who wants to keep a polished look. If anything, a quick touch-up after lunch is all it takes. A .2-fluid-ounce tube is $20, but during the holiday season, find sets of five shades for $39 at Sephora, Ulta Beauty, Macy’s and tartecosmetics.com, while they last. Each store features a different set of colors. Call ahead to make sure they’re still in stock. — Joleen Oshiro
18/24
Swipe or click to see more

COURTESY PHOTO

The holidays are all about music, and tickets to hear the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra are top experiential gifts. You’re also giving to our community, for a city without a symphony orchestra is a deprived place. Get into the spirit by giving seats to the symphony’s jolly Holiday Pops concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 at Hawaii Theatre; tickets are $27-$79; go to hawaiitheatre.com. Top off the celebrations at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 5 or 4 p.m. Jan. 6 at Blaisdell Concert Hall, where Grammy Award-winning guest pianist Yefim Bronfman, whose strength, speed and bravado have been internationally praised, will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the symphony. The program includes the O‘ahu Choral Society singing “Ode to Joy” from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. Tickets are $34-$92, but do consider giving subscriptions to the classical Halekulani Masterworks or Pops & Rocks series, or both, at discounts of 10 to 25 percent. Order at hawaiisymphonyorchestra.org or call 946-8742. — Mindy Pennybacker
19/24
Swipe or click to see more

COURTESY PHOTO

I grew up lucky. My family has always been fortunate, so we strive to think of others during the holidays. With that in mind, I usually buy a very small gift to open at Christmas for family members and include a TisBest gift card with it. TisBest Philanthropy offers cards that let the recipient choose a charity. Thousands of charities are available as recipients on the TisBest website, including several hundred in Hawaii, among them schools, churches and other nonprofits. Some that caught my eye include the local Community Health Outreach Work to Prevent Aids, Hawaii Canine Assistance Network and Easter Seals Hawaii. I find these cards to be a thoughtful gift and a great way to give back to the community. — Joel W. Kight
20/24
Swipe or click to see more

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

With a little felt, a little yarn and a lot of creativity, artist Pamela Taido created Hawaiian Puff Friends, a line of ornaments shaped like the ethnic foods found in the islands. You wouldn’t have thought pork hash, lumpia and laulau could make such charming decorations, but they surely do. Whimsical faces and food-tray packaging complement the look. Sold in packs of one and two for $6-$12 at Art Light Visions. — Donica Kaneshiro
21/24
Swipe or click to see more

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

I didn’t think I liked macaroons so much until I tasted Belia Turley’s confections: light and moist with just a touch of crisp on the edges, sweet coconut with shades of kulolo, churro, banana, you name it. MacBaby Cookie Co. macaroons come in 47 flavors. Although Turley has been baking sweets for 28 years under the banner Belia’s Bakery, MacBaby is new, born only in March. The cookies are available as singles for $2.25 and in a variety of packages from the 6-ounce container for $7.99 to the giftable seven-flavor, 20-cookie tray for $29.99. With three-days’ notice Turley can customize trays and packages with the flavors of your choosing. Cookies stay fresh for one month, though they won’t last that long around me. Call 476-4888. — Donica Kaneshiro
22/24
Swipe or click to see more

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Seeking beautiful green gifts, I was delighted to discover Tossed & Found’s sea-glass gems set in sterling silver by Ingrid Lynch. The designer collects ocean-smoothed glass — and removes trash — from Hawaii beaches. Leaving each glass piece as she finds it, she shapes her wax-cast settings around it, making each necklace, ring or earring unique. A surfer, I love her Splashing Wave pendants with chartreuse ($150) or pale aqua ($198) glass; and Dior meets the islands in her elegant white-glass plumeria pendant ($110). Sterling silver chains included. At Island Wahine Designs or TossedFoundJewelry.com. — Mindy Pennybacker
23/24
Swipe or click to see more

BRUCE ASATO / BASATO@STARADVERTISER.COM

Show that special someone you put some thought into their present this year with a custom T-shirt you can make yourself at Tee By You. Owner and local graphic designer Eddie Barinque will walk you through the process of choosing a design and a shirt, then let you create the finished product yourself on the spot using his equipment. Prices are $13 and up, with your choice of traditional ink- or vinyl-based design applied via heat press. In addition, Barinque offers shirt-making parties he calls “Tee By You-niversity” if you’re thinking about the gift of an experience instead. Call 381-2285 or visit tee-by-you.com. — Jason Genegabus
24/24
Swipe or click to see more

CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / CRUSSELL@STARADVERTISER.COM

Barber Jordan Balcobero uses a trimmer to sculpt David Pesquira's hair at Phil's Barber Shop at Ward Village. Keep the guy in your life looking sharp with the gift of grooming. A number of barbershops and salons geared toward a more masculine experience have opened in Honolulu recently. Click here for my picks for a shave and haircut, which will run you about $75-$80. — Jason Genegabus