Whether it’s to the continental US, Asia, or some other part of the world, if you’ve got to ship holiday gifts off-island, it’s something you’ve got to be on top of. Shipping can take a long time, especially around the holidays, so that shopping needs to be done ASAP! Whether you’re shipping gifts yourself or having a retailer do it, some gifts are just better suited to go in the mail than others. We’ve put together this list of gifts from Hawai’i that you don’t have to worry about being too heavy, too fragile, or too insincere.
It’s hard to go wrong with snacks, especially since many of the snacks that are popular here (li hing everything, mac nuts galore) are difficult for people in many parts of the world to find. Creating your own gift box full of fun treats or just sending a nice prepared box is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. Just be sure to check in with your recipient to make sure they don’t have any food allergies!
Where to shop: Big Island Candies (Hilo), Big Island Delights (Hilo), Donna’s Cookies (Honoka’a), Mrs. Barry’s Kona Cookies (Kona), Puna Chocolate (Puna)
If you’re trying to find the perfect gift for a loved one with a green thumb, send them a plant or a plant starter. Of course, shipping plants can be a bit tricky from Hawai’i, so it’s easiest to buy the cuttings that have already been approved by the Department of Agriculture or through a certified nursery. Orchids, anthuriums, plumeria, ti leaf, and more all represent Hawai’i in the most beautiful way possible and are sure to brighten anyone’s day.
Where to shop: Akatsuka Orchid Gardens (certified nursery, Volcano), KapohoKine Adventures (cuttings in bag, Hilo), Hawaiian Tropical Plant Nursery (certified nursery, Keaau)
It’s light, it’s portable, it’s wearable, it’s beautiful. Jewelry is always a great gift if you understand your recipient’s style. If you don’t know their exact size, stick with necklaces and earrings, as rings and bracelets are typically size-specific. You can find jewelry at most gift shops, but purchasing at the craft fairs and farmers markets is really where it’s at — you can get to know the artists and learn any special meaning that the jewelry has, then share that with your gift recipient.
Where to shop: Kohala Coast Fine Art (Waikoloa), various Farmers Markets, The Makery (Hilo), Holiday Craft Fairs
Pretty much everyone is a foodie these days, and even if they aren’t, everyone needs salt and spices. The beautiful thing about buying Hawaiian salt is that it’s actually collected here, making it even more special as a gift. Other spices and herbs grow in abundance here, everything from turmeric to vanilla beans, making way for plenty of jarred treats.
Where to shop: Farmers’ markets across the island can often sell a variety of seasoning concoctions and salts, Hawaiian Volcano Sea Salt (Honoka’a), Locavore Store (Hilo)
Hawaiian kids’ books make great gifts for the little ones in your life. They ship easily and give kids the chance to learn about keiki from a different culture, about all of the geology that makes Hawai’i so special, about its animals, and more. They’re also great for teaching them the Hawaiian language.
Where to shop: Basically Books (Hilo), Kona Stories (Kona)
When you live on an island that’s famous for coffee, it seems like an obvious choice as a gift. You can find Kona coffee just about everywhere you go, just keep in mind that Kona coffee can be tricky to buy if you’re looking for authenticity – the higher the percentage of Hawaiian coffee in your bag, the higher the cost. If you’ve already given Kona coffee as a gift, try another micro-region’s coffee, like Ka’u or Puna. Giving someone a bag of a different Hawai’i island coffee each year makes for a fun tradition, and you won’t have to worry about running out of options!
Where to shop: Hula Daddy Kona Coffee (Kona), Hilo Coffee Mill (Hilo), Kona Coffee Cafe (Kona), Ka’u Coffee Mill (Ka’u)
If you’re still just not quite sure what to choose from these gifts from Hawai’i, sometimes you just need to browse around until you find that perfect item.
Where to shop: Punalu’u Bake Shop (Naalehu), Basically Books (Hilo), various Farmers Markets, Hawaii’s Gift Baskets (Kona), Olivia Clare Boutique (Waikoloa, Hawi), Puna Gallery & Gift Emporium (Pahoa), KoaWood Ranch (Honoka’a), The Makery (Hilo)
Whether online or in-person, there are plenty of retailers that can help you find the perfect gifts from Hawai’i to make the holiday season happy and bright for those you love. Don’t forget to support your local community by shopping local!
Featured photo via Basically Books Facebook.