Sometimes, the smallest parties are the best ones. Sometimes, simple is better. Perhaps, it all comes down to… intent. If it’s about bringing a lot of people together to celebrate–sure, why not throw a big party? If it’s about forming deeper connections, a small group just might be the better way to go. But… just because you’re only having a small group over doesn’t mean that you can’t make your little setup feel like a party. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. A small little setup can go a long, long way. We recently threw a Hawaiian-Style Coffee Social at home. The challenge was to use a very small space (space comes as a premium in Hawai’i) that could still pack the aloha spirit. Perhaps it’s partly because of the island’s small size that the aloha spirit lives on. If there’s anything that I learned while living over there (which is, a good 1/3 of my life), it’s the principle of…
You don’t need to have much in order to give much.
Upon moving to the “mainland”, material things just seemed to be “bigger and better”. Oh, wait… it’s actually, “bigger, better, and cheaper”. Of course, my mother would frown upon using the “C” word, so let me rephrase: “Bigger, better, and more affordable”. The houses are soooo much more affordable here on the “mainland”. The beautiful home God has blessed us with now has a monthly mortgage that’s much less than what I had as a single woman living in a 1 bedroom condo that measured less than 600 sq ft!
Many people would give us a strange look upon asking,
Why on earth did you move from Hawai’i to Florida?
While it’s certainly not because it’s bigger, better, and more affordable than Hawaii, that certainly comes as a huge perk… a huge blessing! We believe God brought us here (albeit unexpectedly), and we have learned to appreciate His blessings here in Florida as much as we had appreciated the different blessings He gave us while living in Hawai’i. As much as we love Hawai’i, there’s a lot to appreciate here, too. It’s a great reminder for us to appreciate what we have, right where we are, wherever we are.
When we used to live in Hawai’i, we’d often hear,
Lucky you live in Hawaii!
To which we’d, reply:
You’re super blessed to live on the “mainland”.
Now, we get to live out that blessing of living on the “mainland”!
So, let’s talk about our little Hawaiian-Style Coffee Social!!!
It’s high time that we invited a few people over so we could have a deeper discussion of,
So, where ya’ll from, again?
The Ice Breaker
We thought we’d add a little ice breaker activity on our little mini-party table. Enter the following supplies:
- Reusable Place Cards (painted with chalkboard paint)
- Chalkboard Labels
- Liquid Chalk
Guests get to write where they’re from on the provided chalkboard label using the liquid chalk then they stick the label onto their coffee mug. It’s a great conversation starter!
The Party Decorations
Just because you don’t see a pineapple in the mix doesn’t make our setup non-Hawaiian 😉
We threw in some plaid, modern pumpkins, scented pine cones, and kukui nut leis as this shows a nice intersection between where we came from, where we are now, and the season we’re in. In Hawai’i, we like to give leis to our guests. These leis are typically made of either fresh flowers or kukui nuts. There are other forms of leis: some are made of sea shells, maile leaves, candies, or cash (for graduates)! Can you imagine receiving a lei made up of a bunch of $100 bills? Score!
Anyway, we included a few other things from Hawai’i, including this surf board clock laiden with “honu”, or sea turtles. This clock allows us to explain why we appear to always be operating on Hawaiian time. Please don’t judge! 😉
We included a globe because its color matched with the party theme as well as the color scheme. While taking its photo, I was tempted to turn the globe a little bit so that it wouldn’t seem too dark (all ocean) with barely any color (land). As you can see, I decided to keep it the way it was, because that’s the way it truly is–Hawai’i really is in the middle of the ocean! Back when we lived there, it would take at least 5 hours to get to anywhere on the “mainland”, by plane. Here in Central Florida, you could certainly be in another state in much less time than that, by car. Our family loves going out for long drives and we managed to satisfy that bug by driving around the island’s coastline a few times a week (we still miss those times). Now that we live in Florida, we’ve been on a number of road trips, most notably the one from here to Vancouver, B.C., and back, in 6 weeks.
We thought it would be appropriate to add the “locator” symbol to decorate the boring coffee stirrers. If only we had more space (which we do but then it wouldn’t be a challenge), we would have included a world map so that our guests could stick the locator symbol to show us where they’re from. Perhaps, that’ll be for another party!
FREE PRINTABLE: If you would like to use these locator symbols for your next coffee social, feel free to get our free printable (the download link is at the bottom of this post). You can print them on card stock or on full-sheet labels to make instant stickers!
The coffee and creamer tell a little story of their own… at least, the little flower on the side does. This setup kind of reminds me of the ladies back home who have a flower tucked behind their ear. A flower behind a woman’s left ear means that she’s married; a flower tucked behind her right ear means that she’s single.
Wish we had a real flower, a fresh plumeria, on display, but our plumeria babies didn’t yield any flowers this year.
The Party Favors
Others would think that the kukui nut lei would be the party favor but that’s just customary as a welcome gift! We’re not downplaying it; that’s just how warm the culture is!
A good party favor to match the theme would be these awesome wooden coasters with lovely Hawai’i prints!
Arent’ they so cute? They’re pretty durable, too. We’ve had ours for a while now. We felt like tourists during our last trip (last year) and purchased a bunch of stuff from one of the ABC Stores in Waikiki to bring back to our new home in Florida.
Looking for some other party favor ideas? If you’re looking for some DIY Fall Party Favors, feel free to check out how we created our 30-Day Thankfulness Journal. You’re welcome to get the matching free printable for that DIY project as well.
Looking for other gift ideas from Hawai’i? Take a look at one of our recent posts–we shared 3 different gift ideas from Hawai’i including where to get them online!
Now, if this party weren’t a Coffee Social and if we actually served what we would call “real food”, then expect to have some food boxes to-go at the end of the party. It wouldn’t be complete without them!
Anyway, if you made it this far into today’s post, we hope you enjoyed getting to know us a little better. It’s like we just shared a little coffee time together!
We hope to get to know you better, too, along our journey, and we’re super glad that you’re here visiting with us on our blog. When you’re ready to chat, we’d be happy to know…
Where are you from???
Here’s the link to get our free printable locator symbols. Each 8.5 x 11 sheet yields 36 locator symbols.
JD – altamontefamily.com
Disclosure: As of the time of writing this post, AltamonteFamily.com is by no means affiliated with any of the companies or organizations mentioned in this article. AltamonteFamily.com has not been compensated in any way nor has AltamonteFamily.com been influenced to write about these products. This post is a result of the personal observations and independent research of members of AltamonteFamily.com. All opinions solely belong to AltamonteFamily.com.