Mauna Lani Charity Christmas Tree Competition

Today I went down to the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel to set up Pūnana Leo's tree for the charity Christmas tree competition.
The way the competition works is each organization can enter a tree.  People vote for the best tree and each vote costs a dollar.  At the end of the month, the winner, second and third place trees get prize money and the voting proceeds are split among all the other participants.
So everyone wins.  But we want to win BIG! (raising money to build a classroom for the K-3 kids)

I designed the tree with 2 other parents and I have to say that this is really a marriage of all our ideas.  We wanted the tree to represent an ahupuaʻa, which is a pie-shaped division of land that runs from the mountains upland, all the way down to the sea.  The land was governed by a local chief and it was all very sustainable - which is totally my bag.
Rather than use some imported pine tree or plastic look-a-like, we built a wire frame and created a tree from ti leaves.  The red leaves are a lava field that creates a road from the upload to the ocean.  Even the leis are made from shore plants on the bottom and Waimea plants on the top.

Then we needed little kamaʻainas to live on our ahupuaʻa, so here they are!  These little angels are made from protea flowers.  I also can't take any credit for either the idea or the execution, but they sure are adorable!

There's a nice Mauna Kea snow cap up top, too.  The idea is that the tree will change as the month goes on.  The plants will dry up and change color, but we think it will still be beautiful.

See the grammatical error?  I do.
The two things I can take credit for are the display board (which, OF COURSE, has a misspelling right on the school motto.  Like, hello, do you know how to proofread before committing it to Sharpie?  If I had a brain I'd be dangerous) and the strings of lights.
ARG!  No one else seemed to care that they were two different colors and we really only wanted lights to help the tree stand out among all the other traditional sparklers.  But to me it feels like another nail in the "what the hell were you thinking" coffin.

My little fisherman, down in the makai.  And a last minute additional ornament from his brother!

Before we started I said this tree was either going to be totally awesome or a hot mess.  Nothing in between.  Final verdict is crazy awesomeness!  I still canʻt believe how well it all came together and we got one vote before it was even finished!  People kept coming up and saying how great it looks.  Cross your fingers!
Or, better yet, go down there with some dollars and vote!

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