Mele Kalikimaka from the Tiki Bar!


Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say on a bright South Florida Christmas day 🙂 Here’s wishing you the merriest of merriest from the land where palm trees sway, and coconuts are perfectly acceptable Christmas Tree balls. Whether you celebrate the holiday religiously, or as a reminder of how lucky we really are, may you keep the spirit of Christmas and the Moai and all things retro in your heart year ’round, and you New Year be filled with happiness, prosperity, and rum!

REALLY REALLY Last Minute Gift Ideas For People Who Love The Tiki & Retro

LifeNote: I take no responsibility for typographical errors in this post, as I have already started on the Egg Nog

I’m writing this post at 4:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve day. I’m doing it now because I know there are still some people who forgot tomorrow is Christmas, and they’re pulling their hair out wondering what to do. After all, the stores will be closed soon, and unless you get all your gifts at a Walgreen’s Pharmacy, you’re out of luck, duck.

Basically, either you’re just reading this for a few laughs, or you’re reading this because you seriously screwed up and need some tips, fast. Weeeel, hopefully this little post will do a little of both. So here’s a few ideas that will get you through tomorrow without making you look like a complete jerk…

1. Give the Gift of Music

You can buy a flash drive pretty much anywhere now. Pick up 500MB or higher capacity drive and fill it with MP3’s you buy from iTunes or Amazon. (Yeah, I said buy, ok Sony?)  If it’s for a Tiki Lover, see the guide to Tiki Music here. If it’s for a Retro lover, and you’re no sure what kind of music they dig, get them the set list of jazz I’ve got listed here. If they dig this music, they’ll appreciate these cuts. If they don’t dig it, they damned well should and this is your chance to expose them to the riffs of the truly cool.

temporarily-out-of-stock2. Anything At All Off The Web…with a disclaimer

The four greatest words ever listed on a website store are “Temporarily Out Of Stock”. This is the perfect out for you if you forget to order gifts before the big day. Just download a picture of the gift you have in mind, and make a simple little card with the photo in it that says “This is the gift you’re getting this year. i ordered it early but it was Temporarily Out Of Stock. You should have it before next year!” Put a lot of clip are of holly and snowmen on the card so people know you are sincere. Or, you can look for stuff on Ebay or Etsy, buy what you like, and lie like hell that it got held up in shipping. People will believe that, right?

Coconut Monkey Fez by Fez-o-rama
Coconut Monkey Fez by Fez-o-rama

3. Buy a Fez

Tiki people (aka, Tikiphiles) LOVE Fezzes. It’s a Tiki thing, you wouldn’t understand…unless of course you’re into Tiki things. You may not understand it, but they will. The Fezmonger at Fez-o-rama makes Fezzes by hand, and makes them out of velvet, not cheap felt. And he makes custom ones, that can take weeks to create. So there you go…”I wanted to get you a Fez, but A) I didn’t know your fat head size, and B) I thought you might want a custom one”. So direct your Tikiphile friend to, let him pick one out, and foot the bill.

4. Buy 12 2-hour video tapes, and tape the TBS 24 Hours of A Christmas Story. Give out as gifts to people without cable.

gas-card5. Go to a gas station and buy gift certificates for gas. Everyone loves gas. Draw a palm tree on it to make “Tiki”.

6. Fast Food

Who can resist a bag of hamburgers? There’s bound to be at least a Wendy’s or something open, at least on Christmas eve day. Pick up $40 worth of Taco Bell for your friends and show them you care enough to send the very best.

7. Anything from the Tiki Farm.

Mugs from Tiki Farm
Mugs from Tiki Farm

Tiki Farm is the place to get all those kookie kool Tiki mugs, bowls, decanters etc. It’s all collectible, so even if your Tiki friends have the monkey mug, they’ll be thrilled to get another. Again, the magic words Temporarily Out Of Stock can go a long way on Christmas Day.

8. Vintage-style Candy

If you have the pleasure of living near a Cracker Barrel, or some other fun joint that dishes vintage-style candy, you’re in. They’ll probably be open regular house on Christmas Eve, and since they’re touristy, they might even be open on Christmas. Fill up a sack with Bit-O-Honeys, BB Bats, Old-style wrapped Hershey Bars, ribbon candy and salt water taffy and you’ll be the hit of the Christmas Party.

9. If there’s still time…

Believe it or not, Target stores have an unusual amount of retro-styled stuff. The one in Hollywood, Florida has a whole section of 50’s style Christmas bar and kitchenware, including red and green Lucite cocktail shakers for $2.95. They have vintage-style Christmas ornaments too, and even some old-fashioned candy. If you make it there before they close, you might also check out the DVD section for old movies. Don’t worry if your buddies have the movie or not…they can always exchange it if they don’t crack the seal.

10, Here’s the Daddy of them all, reserved for that very special someone that you completely forgot about. This is above and beyond kids, and should only be reserved for the special-est of special friends:A TRIP TO THE ANTIQUE MALL. day-of-fun…or store, or strip, or whatever is in your neck of the woods. Make a big deal about it, because it’s going to cost you an arm, a leg, and a day. Again, download some photos from the mall/store/street website and throw together a little card that announces the big gift. Set a date and stick to it. If you don’t really want to do it, set a date (like a workday) that you know the recipient can’t do, then when they say the day is no good, tell them you’ll get together in the new year on a day that’s good for both of you. Weasel out of it accordingly.

Well, I hope this helps with the last minute gift ideas. If none of this works for you, find a supermarket that’s open and buy $30 worth  of coconuts, pineapples and bananas. Put them in a big Santa sack and give them to your friends. If they don’t appreciate it, you can always clobber them with it.

Merry Christmas Eve from the Tiki Bar!

Here’s what we’re doing this fine Christmas Eve…

Our Shiny Aluminum 1950's Christmas Tree

Here in the land of Palm Trees and Sunshine, it’s about 72° today with a nice breeze. We’ve got all the sliding glass doors open, and I’m typing this post on the lanai, next to the Tiki Bar. We’ve got the 1950’s Aluminum Christmas Tree up, the 1930’s train set is circling the track, and Welsh Rarebit is on the menu for tonight, whipped up in our vintage Turkish fondue pot.

I have a little tradition I do every Christmas eve. In 1980, I got a Yorx stereo Record Player/AM/FM/Tape Deck for Christmas. My parents gave it to me on Christmas Eve, and just in time for me to record several hours of vintage radio broadcasts of Christmas shows from the ’30s. ’40s and ’50s. (They were broadcast on WRDR, FM 105 out of Egg Harbor City, NJ, back when they were an oldies station…back when oldies meant pre-1960 non-rock) I recorded Amos and Andy, Jack Benny, Uncle Milty, George & Gracie, Fibber McGee & Molly and more (Funny, never noticed before how all those peoples’ names end in ‘y’). Anyway, I still have the tapes, and have listened to them every year on Christmas eve since 1980. This will be the 29th year. 29th year! We’ll listen to them starting around five, and give up around 8 or so. Then we’ll open a few gifts (leaving some for tomorrow), probably watch some Christmas movies, and eat fondue until we can’t move. We may even drive down to the beach for a little walk.

xmas-dog-ornamentTruly, It’s a Wonderful Life 🙂

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