a maui christmastime

as the youngest of nine grown (and seven married) children, i don’t go home to my parents’ for christmas anymore. instead i get to pick a sibling and spend the holiday with them and their spouse and kids. when you have a brother that lives in hawaii, the choice is pretty obvious (even when you have siblings in other super neat places like boston, new york city, san diego, washington dc, etc). however, flights to hawaii from san francisco the week of christmas are about $1200. but, flights to hawaii from san francsico two weeks before christmas are $300. so, i decided to have a maui christmas followed by a white christmas in utah a couple weeks later.

my brother jonah and his wife aja moved to the island of maui just a couple of months ago, and it was so exciting to be their first visitor. as soon as i got off the plane in honolulu i felt a fantastic thrill to be back in hawaii. i flew on to maui and into a week of wonderful.

my six days with jonah, aja, aniston, camden, elsie and poem in pictures and bullet points:

  • straight from the airport to the beach


  • boogie boarding in the warm ocean
  • eating obscene amounts of sugary food – pineapple, lilikoi coconut ice cream, sharks blood shave ice, homemade cookies, tropical starbursts, hawaiian donuts, candy canes, costco frozen yogurt, and the list could go on and on…


  • eating amazing food homemade by jonah – like stew with venison from the deer he helped butcher and carrots right out of the garden, fresh baked bread, spiced steel cut oats for breakfast, sourdough pancakes from scratch, homemade granola, and here we have another list that could go on and on…
  • cuddling in the morning – ana, cam or elsie would come in and wake me up and get under the covers with me for a good thirty minutes of snuggling
  • reading christmas books by the glow of twinkle lights every night before bed
  • singing “mele kalikimaka” at least 20 times a day, loud for all to hear
  • riding around the jo and aja’s awesomely awful “maui cruiser” – completely rusted up old mercedes station wagon that runs on vegetable grease
  • playing cards with cam and ana while it poured outside
  • ana and jonah teaching me how to surf, and catching my first wave!


  • lots of rain and lots of clouds
  • rainbows everyday as we attempted to chase the sunshine


  • doing sun salutations (yoga moves) on the beach in an effort to cajole the sun to come out!
  • sneaking in to fancy resort pools
  • snorkeling: outlandishly colorful fish, turtles, eels, coral, hearing the whales underwater
  • late nights with jonah and aja blogging, browsing pinterest and talking
  • seeing their new house, which they closed on while i was there!, and envisioning it when it is all fixed up jo and aja style (right now, we just say, “um, well, it has a lot of potential…”)
  • exploring their new town, makawao (could there be a cooler name for a town?) – cutest little street-lined main street where they had a little christmas festival
  • finding a non-rainy beach and boogie boarding even though it was super cloudy

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  • local middle school ukulele band playing jingle bells before they lit the star in the tree in the center of makawao (which i learned is the cowboy capital of maui – my niece the complete cowgirl is in heaven)
  • baking loads of treats and cutting out dots for poem’s first birthday party
  • a polka dot party for poem eyre in a beautiful park near jonah and aja’s rental house

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are you dying about how cute poem is? i seriously can’t handle it.

  • little girls making me a flower wreath and throwing orange blossoms at me


  • pouring rain during church
  • every speaker or teacher in church begins with “alooooooooha!
  • pure gluttony and lots of fun at the makawao ward christmas party
  • walk to the first mormon chapel in maui with aja in the rain on sunday night – burning sunset, adorable little church on the volcano, and wet wonderful conversation
  • looking at old blog posts and remembering and laughing our heads off
  • sandcastle building and destroying


  • two lunches of costco samples (we didn’t buy anything either time)
  • getting loads of free yummy spreads from jonah and aja’s landlord, who runs “maui upcountry jams and jellies” and mailing them home to myself
  • waking up early and going to the farmers market and a bunch of garage sales with jonah in the rain


  • swinging on a hammock at a fancy resort with cam and ana and giggling


  • misty mountains in the distance – enchanting
  • ridiculously bright, pretty, amazing flowers everywhere


  • a sunday morning walk by myself up haleakala volcano (around jonah and aja’s neighborhood)
  • reminiscing on family memories on maui
  • (thanks to elsie’s cuteness) enjoying a free jumpy house, water slide and ice cream at a company party that happened to be at the beach we went to one morning


  • jumping off black rock at kanapaali beach at sunset


  • loving the buoyancy and floating sensation in the warm ocean
  • chocolate milk waves – brown water flowing into the sea from all the rain
  • eating peanut butter and (passion fruit, persimmon, or guava) jelly sandwiches on the go
  • randomly stopping at a moving sale aja or jonah just happened upon via their craigslist app
  • the completely magical banyan tree in the center of lahaina town


  • lit up shops, free dessert samples, and bright parrots in lahaina
  • sandy feet
  • having my swimsuit on and being wet all day – what is it about that that is so wonderful? and the shower at the end of such a day!
  • hot, humid air that seems to stick to my lungs
  • taking a run with aja while the kids were at swim team
  • babysitting so jonah and aja could go on a date


after i said goodbye and as i was driving away, ana came running out of the house to yell one last “mele kalikimaka” my way. it certainly was a merry maui christmastime. i’m already pining to go back to visit the hawaii eyres.


  1. YAY!!! COME back and visit SOON!! We loved having you and I loved this blog post.

  2. oh man, I LOOOOOOVE Kihei, Maui and reading your post makes me want to jump on the next flight out there!!
    My favorite part about church in Hawaii, are the "Aloooooooha's", sometimes I forget people don't do that here on the mainland! Love your blog!