Giveaway! Have Yourself a Moai Little Christmas

Eric October's "Have Yourself a Moai Little Christmas"

Let’s make this Monday a little merrier, shall we? Last weekend at Tonga Hut‘s Tiki Wonderland event, I picked up these jolly postcards by Eric October — “Have Yourself a Moai Little Christmas,” get it? I’d like to spread a little holiday cheer by sending some well wishes on one of these cards to the first 15 people to comment on this post. (I’ll e-mail you for a mailing address.) UPDATE: All the cards have been spoken for — mahalo for playing, everyone!

If you have a suggestion for some festive music, I’d love to hear! (My favorites of the moment include “Skating” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio from “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” The Beatles-infused “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” from The Ventures’ Christmas Album, and Ixtahuele’s exotica version of “White Christmas.”)

Also, if you happen to be in the Los Angeles area, you can see more art by Eric October at The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass group tribute art show at Creature Features in Burbank. (A bunch of familiar tiki artists like Derek Yaniger and BigToe are participating too.) It’s on display at the store through January 4, 2015, and you can also see some photos of the art on the event’s Facebook page.

More Holiday Fun:
Watch Frosty the Cheeseball Man Melt Away
“South Pacific Santa” Art by Heather Watts
2014 Tiki Holiday Gift Guide

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2014 Tiki Gift Guide for the Holidays

Get a head start on your holiday shopping with this year’s round-up of some of the best tiki-related goodies from 2014, including books, bitters and more.

SanTiki Moai Masks by Bamboo Ben

1. SanTiki Moai Masks by Bamboo Ben

Bamboo Ben has created the escapist settings for many tiki bars, such as Frankie’s Tiki Room in Las Vegas and Tiki No in North Hollywood, to name a few. For Christmas, he’s gotten into the festive spirit by making SanTiki Moai masks ($25, plus shipping) and also some Shrunken Grinch Heads. I hear there will be some for sale at his booth at the International Tiki Market Place at Don the Beachcomber in Huntington Beach on December 6th, but you can also contact him via Facebook about ordering.

Krampus mugs by Munktiki

2. Krampus Mug by Munktiki

Now this is some Black Friday shopping I’m on board with! On November 28th, Munktiki will release the fourth and final glaze of this year’s Krampus mug. (Pictured is the red and black style sold earlier.) This terrifying creature from Bavarian folklore punishes naughty children during the Yuletide season. There are 25 of these super limited editions ($80) and they’ll be available for purchase on Munktiki’s web site at 6 p.m. PST.

Tiki Pop book by Sven Kirsten

3. Tiki Pop book by Sven Kirsten

As mentioned previously, this year author Sven Kirsten (The Book of Tiki/Tiki Modern) and Taschen published a new tome, Tiki Pop: America Imagines its own Polynesian Paradise ($40). It’s the companion book from the recent exhibition at the Musée du quai Branly in Paris. Make sure you have a sturdy coffee table to support this hefty edition filled with incredible images and fascinating history. Also of interest to tiki fans will be the book Kahiki Supper Club: A Polynesian Paradise in Columbus ($16) by David Meyers, Elise Meyers Walker, Jeff Chenault and Doug Motz. Many of us never got the chance to visit that Ohio oasis before it was bulldozed in 2000, so this is as close as we’ll get, alas.

Horror in Clay bitters

4. Horror Infused Better With Bitters Gift Set

Horror in Clay — who you may know from the Cthulhu mug Kickstarter success story — has followed up with a few neat new products this year, including the Innsmouth Fogcutter Tiki Mug ($40) and Horror Infused: Fiendishly Tropical Bitters ($13.13). Made in partnership with Bittercube Bitters (the gentlemen also responsible for the Torpedo Room in Minneapolis), these are small-batch cocktail bitters “tentacle-crafted with care” featuring flavors of molasses, grapefruit, allspice, cinnamon and vanilla. They even come in a gift set ($20) with stickers, swizzles and coins.

Gene Rains - Far Away Lands

5. Far Away Lands: The Exotic Music of Gene Rains CD

When you need a respite from carols, mix things up with some Gene Rains, the vibraphonist considered one of the “Big Three” of exotica music in the 1950s-60s along with Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman. His music had never been available on CD until this past July when Real Gone Music released “Far Away Lands: The Exotic Music of Gene Rains” ($15), which includes songs from his three albums. (Check out episode 68 of DigiTiki’s Quiet Village Podcast to hear some of the interesting stories behind the making of this compilation.) Featured on the cover art is the lovely MeduSirena the Fire-Eating Mermaid (in her human form) from the Wreck Bar in Fort Lauderdale.

Related Posts:
2013 Tiki Gift Guide (Beachbum Berry’s Book, Kon-Tiki DVD & More)
2012 Tiki Gift Guide (Enchanted Tiki Room Ornaments, DVD of Tiki & More)

Try Your Hand at Audio-Animatronics at the Walt Disney Family Museum – San Francisco, CA

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“It’s like a trip to Disneyland itself…It’s the third happiest place on the planet, behind Disneyland and Disney World.” That’s what Tom Hanks said about visiting the Walt Disney Family Museum when researching the man behind the mouse for “Saving Mr. Banks” — and I think many Disney fans would agree.

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First off, it’s located in a gorgeous historic building, a restored 1890s army barracks in the Presidio overlooking the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. I highly recommend getting a snack and coffee from the cafe and enjoying the views out on the veranda when you need a break between walking through the exhibitions.

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After buying your tickets, the first room you’ll enter is filled with various awards, including the honorary Academy Award (and seven little Oscars) that Shirley Temple presented to Walt Disney in 1939 for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.” It’s such an iconic moment in Disney history so it’s neat to see these statuettes in person.

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The non-profit museum, which opened in 2009, was co-founded by Walt’s daughter Diane Disney Miller and chronologically narrates his personal and professional history. “My kids have literally encountered people who didn’t know that my father was a person,” she told The New York Times. “They think he’s just some kind of corporate logo.” (Here’s the Disney family leaving Honolulu on the Matson Lines‘ SS Lurline after a Hawaiian vacation.)

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Walt Disney led a pretty interesting life even before he became a household name. While he was still a teenager, he lied about his age so he could enlist for World War I. These were the little souvenirs he brought back from France where he drove trucks and ambulances after the armistice.

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Another random piece of ephemera that caught my attention was this handwritten list of Walt Disney’s favorite foods that he’d made for the housekeeper. (The paper was rediscovered decades later tucked in a magazine at the house.) Spam and eggs with biscuits and honey, FTW.

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A centerpiece of the ninth gallery, “The 1950s & 1960s: The Big Screen & Beyond,” is the 12-foot model of “The Disneyland of Walt’s Imagination.” He considered the park to be an ever-changing entity and the map features original attractions as well as ones that were in the planning stages during his lifetime. If you look closely you can see Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and Tahitian Terrace.

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New to this section as of this year is “Pepe del Presidio,” a replica of the “Barker Bird” that used to beckon guests outside the entrance to the Enchanted Tiki Room. (It made its debut at a tiki-themed Animate Your Night! party presented by Tiki Oasis and Smuggler’s Cove — I bet there will be more of these in the future as the first two seem to have been pretty successful.)

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After a few minutes of video on the history of Audio-Animatronics, guests can use the joystick to control the bird’s movements and make it open its beak, nod and turn its head, move its body forward and back, and puff out its chest. Such a fun, interactive element!

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Naturally, a stop at the gift shop is a must. In addition to numerous books, pins, jewelry and shirts, there were Kuku and MarqMarq mugs designed by Tom “Big Toe” Laura for Tiki Farm.

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It was all I could do not to collect all of these Enchanted Tiki Room charms: all the parrots (Jose, Fritz, Pierre and Michael, plus the Barker Bird for $6.95 each), two designs for the tiki drummers and totems, and an E ticket ($8.95). They’re exclusive to the Walt Disney Family Museum, just in case you needed another incentive to make a visit.

Walt Disney Family Museum
104 Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94129
415-345-6800