Last year, you waited. Christmas Eve crept up and you found yourself at Ala Moana Center pressing aimlessly through the crowd of other guilt-ridden last-minute shoppers trying to find that impossible something for Mom, the woman who birthed you and brought you up in this world, showering you with gifts year after year. This was supposed to be a night with family and hot cocoa spiked with Baileys Irish Cream! You thought to yourself then, “Why, oh, why, didn’t I go to one of the great sales at the Honolulu Museum of Art?”

Well, it’s a wonderful life, and you get a second chance to do it right. This November HoMA gives you two events to help you cross names off that shopping list—with the Art School’s annual Holiday Sale, Nov. 18-27, and the one-day Local Artist Spotlight: Holiday Bazaar at the Museum Shop, Nov. 19. Both events come with free food, too!

Here’s our recommended four-step plan of attack for maximum gifts and snackage.

  1. Go to the Art School on Nov. 18 for the holiday sale opening reception, which kicks off at 5:30pm, and includes light pūpū and live entertainment. This is your chance to get first dibs on one-of-a-kind jewelry, specialty ceramics like sake cups and ikebana containers, fused glass dishes and trays, and beautiful baskets and weavings. And these aren’t works by amateurs—some of the more than 2,500 works are by top Hawai‘i artists such as Brenda Ching, Andy Cole, Ashley Huang, Bud Spindt, Liz Train, Michiyo Uchibori, Kaori Vaughn, and Jon Vongvichai.
  1. Hit the Museum Shop on Nov. 19 for the Local Artist Spotlight: Holiday Bazaar, open 11am to 3pm. Enjoy light refreshments while chatting with the local artists about their works. You can find original prints by Carol Collette, jewelry by Sandra Edwards of HeartSong, felt creatures from Heart Felt, and original art and stationary by painter Lauren Okano and mixed-media artist Kris Goto, who will be signing works in person. Artists Ryan Higa and Betsy Robertson, aka Surebets, will have ornaments for sale, while Mozaic Designs will sell Year of the Rooster accessories, and award-winning photographer Wayne Levin will be on site signing his photo books and prints.
  1. Go back to the Art School, Nov. 19, after checking out the Bazaar. They add new items each day, and the previous night’s reception is going to clear out a lot of prime shelf space. With more than 100 artists represented, you’re sure to find more stocking stuffers.
  1. Let’s face it. Even though you think you’ll have plenty of time in December to tie up loose ends, it’s going to fly by. We suggest swinging by the Art School on Nov. 25, 5-8pm, for the Holiday Sale closing party and the Honolulu Printmakers’ Impressions Print and Book Fair. In addition to printmaking demos, there will be more free food. This is your year to finally finish shopping early so you can spend more quality time with your family…and Baileys.

Pictured above, clockwise from top left: Jewelry holders by Surebets, Year of the Rooster stationary by Mozaic Designs, collage box by Surebets.