It’s another beautiful Monday in Hawai‘i—the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the wAH SWEET BABY JESUS CHRISTMAS IS ONLY SIX DAYS AWAY!! Of course we’d never assume that our readership is anything less than a group of well-organized, generous, and ridiculously attractive individuals who finished their holiday shopping in a timely manner, but just for kicks, lets pretend that some readers might still have a few names to cross off their lists. To give those hypothetical people some ideas, we again asked our staff what items in the Museum Shop and Spalding House Shop they recommend to our readers.

Idea generators: You can’t go wrong with notebooks

I recommend the pocket-size notebooks from paperblanks ($14.95), which have great covers, or the museum logo version ($12.95), , which come in great colors. I like getting new notebooks because they motivate me to fill up old ones. If you know someone who’s trying to be creative and productive, having something that they can carry around with and jot ideas in is helpful. While a lot of people like to capture moments with a camera, I like to do so with words. I find that they capture certain feelings and other aspects of a moment much better than a picture can. It’s nice not having to rely on technology; there’s something about putting pen to paper that allows you to better commit an idea to memory, and you never know when your phone is going to die on you. The museum branded notebook also has a bit of a water resistant cover, which can be helpful in certain situations.—Travis Hancock, web content coordinator

Undersea photography for me

Wayne Levin 'Circling Akule'

Wayne Levin Circling Akule

I think that one Wayne Levin’s black and white photographs is the perfect gift for somebody to give to me…or, you know, to give to someone. They’re really timeless. It’s hard to tell what year they were taken, and it’s really refreshing that in this day of Instagram and all sorts of filters that somebody is still shooting on film in black and white.

These are shot in Hawai‘i, so they’re reflective of this special place that we live. When I look at nature I recognize it as the ultimate art. My favorite is Circling Akule, it’s so interesting to see the pattern of the fish, how they work together and are a community. The lighting is so beautiful, and it makes me wonder where Levin was, and how long he had to wait to take that picture. $1,800 each—Cara Mazzei, director of development

A puzzling choice

I like the gradient puzzle because it looks like such a challenge. The colors shift so slowly it’s hard to tell where one shade of gray ends and the other begins. At 18 by 24 inches it yields a pretty large finish, and, if you get to finish it, it would be such a feeling of accomplishment I think you might want to frame it. $25—Katy Barber, assistant manager, Shangri La tours

Happiness is a freshly brewed glass of tea

The Double Wall Glass Tea Tumbler is my ultimate staff pick! Its multi-functionality is my main reason for this holiday must have. Not only is it handy to brew tea on the go, it can be used to make cold brew coffee. Instead of adding tea leaves to the strainer, add coffee grounds and fill it up with room temperature water.  Stick it in the fridge overnight and voila! You have cold brew coffee!  Just mix one half of your cold brew concoction with a half a glass of water and ice and you’re good to go! It can also be used for iced water. Plus all beverages taste better in glass. $24.95—Courtland Cleland, assistants store manager/buyer

Coloring outside the lines

As a new father, I’ve recently started to peruse the children’s section of the Museum Shop. This coloring book caught my eye because of its title, A Line is a Dot That Went for a Walk, which is a quote by Paul Klee. Flipping through its pages I found it to be a different kind of coloring book than I had experienced as a child. Rather than presenting an outline of an image that you’re supposed to color in, this book encourages young artists to create something more abstract, asking things like “What would it look like if purple was surprised to see orange?” and instructing kids to “draw a line that’s lost on a busy street,” or to draw something with a pencil held between their toes. I think this approach is a fantastic way to spark creativity in your child. $12.95—Scott Whelden, digital media associate

12.19.2016