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A Green Christmas for 50% of Canada!

50% of Canada will be disappointing the late Bing Crosby this Christmas, and will instead be experiencing warmer than usual temperatures in what The Weather Network’s chief meteorologist is calling “a tale of two seasons.”

With the mild winter weather phenomenon occurring across southern Ontario, it is very unlikely any of the province will experience a white Christmas (just like the ones we used to know).

According to the Toronto Star, there has been less than 1 centimetre of snow in the city, compared to the nearly 35 centimetres of snowfall we saw around this time last year.

Toronto, December 2014.

Not to mention, it was exactly two years ago that the major ice storm struck central and eastern portions of Canada, causing many Ontario homes to go without power on Christmas.

Toronto, December 2013
Southern Ontario, December 2013.

So what gives? The drastic weather conditions we are used to experiencing at this time are quite different in comparison to this year, when a light spring jacket is all you need to keep significantly warm outdoors.

Yesterday, The Weather Network reported that it will be the warmest Christmas Eve in recorded history!

Image via: The Weather Network

“Record-breaking heat is likely for southern Ontario, with temperatures rising on the 23rd and peaking early Christmas Eve,” Weather Network meteorologist Tyler Hamilton stated early Sunday morning. “Low-to-mid teens possible, with temperatures 15-18 degrees above seasonal for parts of Ontario on Quebec.”

Though, a green Christmas is quite typical for cities located around a relatively warm body of water like Lake Ontario, it is a shocking to have such mild temperatures this late in the year; especially since last year we had a record breaking cold winter.

What does this mean for Christmas day? Sadly, no snowmen will be occupying the lawns of festive homes across the province, and it’s a good thing Santa’s sleigh doesn’t need magical snow to fly.

This morning at 5:30AM, The Weather Network released this graphic, confirming the sad news , while showing that people in areas like Calgary, and Yellowknife will definitely wake up to a white blanket of snow Christmas morning. Though many Ontarians are quite jealous of the statuses given to the other provinces, it comes by no surprise that the North-West Territories will have a guarantee of snow.

It is also being reported that the west coast will be chillier than usual, and there is even a chance of some snowfall for Vancouver on Christmas Eve- talk about a swap!

Whether you are part of the 50% who will have a green Christmas, or one of the lucky ones who will see some snow, we wish you a very happy holiday season.

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Our Favourite Kid Stars in Christmas Movies: Where Are They Now?

In light of the recent Macaulay Culkin/Kevin McCallister video that surfaced the net last week (embedded below just in case you missed it), curious feelings surrounding other various Christmas movie child stars have manifested into our nosy minds.

The video above depicts an angry, and not to mention, strung out looking Kevin McCallister (aka Macaulay Culkin), who has yet to deal with the abandonment issues and possible PTSD the 1990 classic, Home Alone has left him with.

Though this video caused a few broken hearts for all the life-long wet bandit admirers, it also brought a nostalgic chuckle to audiences around the globe. The 5 minute Youtube video inspired us to do some intensive research to locate the 9 cute little kids that have starred in all of our favourite classics. Sadly, not everyone has had the career we all expected they would when they first started out. From Primetime Emmy nominations, to arrests and post-grunge bands,  there is a great range of triumph to demise within these 9 former child stars. Though, with what Macaulay’s post Home Alone years looked like, the most successful of the few may be the ones who opted out of show business; but we’ll let you decide for yourself.

1. Cindy Lou Who from ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ (2000)

AKA Taylor Momsen

Momsen stole the hearts of movie go-ers everywhere, as the adorable Cindy Lou Who from the 2000 live action version of ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’. Singing a cute rendition of ‘Where Are You Christmas’ the young star set high hopes for her future career. Though, her music now is not quite as ‘cute’ and ‘happy’, as the Faith Hill festive single, Momsen has earned in her spot in the music industry with her alternative-rock band, The Pretty Reckless.

Following her highly sought after role as Jenny Humphrey on Gossip Girl, the former IMG Model signed on to be the new face of Madonna’s 2010 clothing line, ‘Material Girl’. In late August of the same year, Momsen’s band released their first studio album, leading to her decision to make music her main focus. In early September 2015,  the former childhood star confirmed that the band is working on new material in the studio. Maybe it will be out in time for next Christmas?

2. Charlie Calvin from ‘The Santa Clause’ (1994)

AKA Eric LLloyd

Eric Lloyd starred as Charlie Calvin in The Santa Clause at the tender age of 8 years old! It’s no wonder that his performance as Scott Calvin (aka Tim Allen) ‘s  son was nothing short of adorable. Charlie’s dedication and sense of belief made the film, about a man who inadvertently kills Santa on Christmas Eve, and then is forced to take his place, a truly magical time for us all. Lloyd went on to play the same character in the 2 not-so popular sequels of the film.

Now, at the age of 29, Eric has supposedly quit acting and partnered up with his college roommate, Tyler Payne, opening LP Studios, a production and post production music and film company located in California.

3. Jake from ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ (1998)

AKA Jonathan Taylor Thomas AKA J.T.T

Another one of Tim Allen’s fictional sons! The teenage heart throb, nicknamed J.T.T, was plastered on every young girl’s wall during the 1990’s, thanks to Tiger Beat magazine. Though, his career seemed to fizzle out following the popular Christmas film, he did make a few cameo appearances on various television shows like Veronica Mars, Ally McBeal, Smallville, and 8 Simple Rules. Plus, the American sweetheart is not just all looks! J.T.T was enrolled at Harvard University, where he studied philosophy and history, prior to graduating from Columbia. Thomas currently guest starts on ABC’s Last Man Standing, reuniting him with his former TV dad, and The Santa Claus(e) himself, Tim Allen.

4. Rusty Griswold from ‘National Lampoons: Christmas Vacation’ (1989)

AKA Johnny Galecki

One of the running jokes of the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies is the inconsistency of son Rusty and daughter Audrey. Chevy Chase’s fictional children are played by different actors in each film, often of interchangeable age (Rusty being younger in the Christmas film, and older in the Vegas film). The 1989 comedy classic Christmas Vacation features Johnny Galecki as son, Rusty. The relatively unknown actor landed the role, despite having only done two previous movies (one of them another 1989 Christmas movie, Prancer). Three years after the successful Christmas flick, Johnny made his first appearance as David Healy (aka Darlene’s love interest) on Roseanne, making the actor a semi-regular cast member for the show’s last five seasons. In 2007, following multiple television appearances, he was cast on The Big Bang Theory as the loveable main character Leonard, scoring him a few Prime Time Emmy Nominations and seven People’s Choice Awards affiliated to the show. Not too shabby, Russ…not too shabby.

5. Ralphie from ‘A Christmas Story’ (1983)

AKA Peter Billingsley

6. Michael from ‘Elf’ (2003)

AKA Daniel Tay

Buddy the Elf’s supportive little brother, Michael, was played by 11 year old Daniel Tay, who has not been active in the Entertainment industry since 2009. In 2003, the same year Elf was brought to the big screen, Tay played a young Harvey Pekar (the older version played by Paul Giamatti) in the critically acclaimed American Splendor. Following this film, and a few small television roles, Tay began doing voice work, providing several video game voiceovers in such works as Bully and Grand Theft Auto.

7. Sam from ‘Love, Actually’ (2003)

AKA Thomas Brodie- Sangster

Thomas Sangster played Sam in Love Actually, a little boy in love with his classmate, Olivia. Since the romantic Christmas flick’s release, Sangster kept up with his acting career, landing solid roles in Game of Thrones and the Maze Runner. His most recent role was a small one in the newly released and highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Though his Wikipedia page does state that he is 25, the fact is questionable considering he still has that baby face we know and love. Lucky girl, Olivia!

8. Jamie from ‘Jingle All the Way’ (1996)

AKA Jake Lloyd

Next to Macaulay, Lloyd’s career seemed to have the most promising potential. Following his role, alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the 1996 hit Jingle All the Way, Lloyd scored the highly pined over role of young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. After voicing the same character for several Star Wars video games, the child actor disappeared from the entertainment industry, only to sporadically resurface on the TMZ home page, after multiple arrests and even a death hoax.

Several entertainment websites state that after his role in the famously hated first prequel, Lloyd reportedly destroyed all of his Star Wars memorabilia and quit acting. The infamous flop film, directed by George Lucas, caused the former star to be bullied in school, where children would taunt him in the halls, making lightsaber noises whenever he would walk by. If that wasn’t sad enough, following the June 2015 arrest, his mother Lisa Lloyd, revealed that her son is schizophrenic, and that in March of this year he attacked her after going off of his medication.

9. Kevin from ‘Home Alone’ (1990)

AKA Macaulay Culkin


Macaulay was easily the most well-known child stars of the last few decades. After the very successful Home Alone in 1990, our hearts broke as he played the cute-as-can-be preteen Thomas J in My Girl, a film that left everyone leaving the theatres in hysterics. Following his tear jerking performance in the early 90’s classic, Culkin went on to star in the Home Alone sequel, Richie Rich and the Good Son. And, like any other young star, Macaulay made his rounds on American television, even hosting Saturday Night Live in 1991.

It is no secret that Macaulay had a tough time, after his initial attempt to quit acting at the age of 14. Though, he resurfaced after his parents nasty divorce and custody battle, dating That 70’s Show and Family Guy star Mila Kunis for 8 years. The couple broke up in 2010, which allegedly lead to his demise, and struggle with drugs and alcohol. As Culkin once said: ‘I had all the fame anyone could want, and I ran away from it’, learning the tough lesson that his Home Alone character came to realize, be careful what you wish for.

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I Heart XMAS with Linda Olsen

Welcome to the I Heart XMAS Q&A, where Retro Festive asks notable Canadians about their own Christmas traditions and what they would like to find under the tree!

Linda Olsen
@Linda_Olsen
Anchor of the Early News at 5 and co-anchor of  Calgary’s News Hour at 6

Linda Olsen

What is your favourite Christmas movie or TV special? 

Elf!  I think it’s so cute and has a great message about the Christmas spirit.

 

 

Does your family have a special or quirky Christmas tradition?
We have a few traditions coming from our Danish heritage.

We would hold hands and sing Christmas songs and walk around the tree.  Also, we would put a whole almond in the desserts, citronfromage and risalamande.  The person who gets the whole almond in their serving has to keep it secret, hidden in their mouths, until everyone eats up all the dessert.  Then we found out who had it all along and that person wins a prize.

Which do you prefer: to give or receive?  

I definitely prefer to give!  I enjoy finding a few special gifts that my friends and family will really appreciate.

Which Peanuts character do you think your friends and family would say reminds them of you?
My daughter said Charlie Brown’s teacher who says ‘wuh wuh wuh.’

Ugly Christmas Sweaters: Not a Chance – or – The Uglier the Better?
I have not purchased one for myself yet, but my three kids have and they wear them with pride and yes, the uglier the better!

What do you want Santa to bring you this year?
I would like Santa to find a way to make the days longer so I can have more time with my kids and parents.

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I Heart XMAS with Kristian Noel Pedersen

Welcome to the I Heart XMAS Q&A, where Retro Festive asks notable Canadians about their own Christmas traditions and what they would like to find under the tree!

Kristian Noel Pedersen
A Kristian Kinda Christmas
Musician

Kristian Noel Pedersen (his real name!) started recording Christmas music seven years ago, after joking about how his name would be perfect for it.  He writes and records original indie folk songs, with weird synthesizers and drum machines, about Christmas traditions, shopping, and the winter blues.

Kristian Noel PedersenWhat is your favourite holiday movie or TV special?
I’m a sucker for 90’s sit-com Christmas specials. My favourites are Boy Meets World’s called “Santa’s Little Helpers” or Family Matters’ “Miracle on Elm Street“.  In terms of film, The Santa Clause will always be a favourite of mine, and a seasonal must-must watch.

 Does your family have a special or quirky holiday tradition?
The only thing that is quirky is how much we see each-other. My extended family used to have a Christmas brunch that ended around three hours before Christmas dinner. We’d literally all go from one house to another. Only to meet up the next day for boxing day dinner, and New Years day dinner. Lots of dinners.

What is your favourite Christmas song?
“Christmas In A Room” by Sufjan Stevens. A song about finding the magic of Christmas in the ones you love. It gets me every time.

Also, I have to give an honourable mention to “Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney. Its probably the most avant-garde song to get played in malls and grocery stores. That takes talent.

Which do you prefer: to give or receive?
Absolutely give.

 Ugly Christmas Sweaters?
Not a chance. Christmas sweaters I have a special place for, but I’m not a fan of intentionally ugly ones. Classic knitted patterns for me.

What do you want Santa to bring you this year?
There is a Christmas themed wrestling t-shirt I’ve been really wanting, but haven’t bought it for myself yet. Fingers crossed Santa delivers it.

~

Kristian Noel Pedersen’s Christmas seventh record will be released this week! Check it out at http://www.kristiankindachristmas.ca

 

 

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The Toronto Christmas Market

Photo via instagram: @evicks
Photo via instagram: @evicks

For just shy of one month, the Toronto Christmas Market has been buzzing with festive on goers,  cuddling up with mulled wine, keeping warm under the mistletoe. Located in the Distillery District, the Toronto tradition embraces the Old World’s early 1400’s outdoor markets, capturing heritage and romance, while showcasing a tremendous amount of local, handcrafted products. Retro Festive has been a proud vendor at the market for five years, and will continue on until this Sunday, December 20th when the annual celebration comes to an end for the holiday season.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 8.31.03 AM

Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the jovial affair, taking in the enchanting vibes dwelling amongst the traditional brick-paved streets of the distillery district.  A welcoming presence haunts the walk ways, and as the night grows,  Canadian crowds expand rapidly.

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Photo via instagram: @thesix.co

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My heart was warmed by the thriving crowds, with each individual eager to snap the perfect photo to showcase the festivities before us. Couples patiently wait for their chance under the giant mistletoe, as others graciously offer to take photos for strangers, as if they’ve been reunited with old friends. The chummy environment strikes up small engagements amongst guests, creating colourful evidence to the patterned notion of the friendly Canadian heart.

Photo via instagram: @viola_bae
Photo via instagram: @viola_bae
Photo via instagram: @_ginger.spice
Photo via instagram: @_ginger.spice
Photo via instagram: @pierce_lang
Photo via instagram: @pierce_lang
Photo via instagram: @kellyelizabeth17
Photo via instagram: @kellyelizabeth17

The most engaging of attractions proved to be the giant Christmas Tree, located in the heart of the market. Crowds gathered around, like tiny Christmas lights strung up on a tree, awaiting the ideal moment to steal a quick photo by the strikingly decorated timber.

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Photo via instagram: @trevor_barker
Photo via instagram: @azaleazoe
Photo via instagram: @azaleazoe
Photo via instagram: @choy_riz
Photo via instagram: @choy_riz
Photo via instagram: @bendrakbarry
Photo via instagram: @bendrakbarry
Photo via instagram: @lianardone
Photo via instagram: @lianardone
Photo via instagram: @theundeadsasa
Photo via instagram: @theundeadsasa
Photo via instagram: @blue_the_frenchiedog
Photo via instagram: @blue_the_frenchiedog

The magical affair seemed to bring out the holiday spirit in everyone, as there was an overwhelming outpour of love and affection between families, friends and lovebirds.

Photo via instagram @ronnelpanizaresphotos
Photo via instagram @ronnelpanizaresphotos
Photo via instagram: @caribrunton
Photo via instagram: @caribrunton
Photo via instagram: @crooksarah
Photo via instagram: @crooksarah
Photo via instagram: @missmimaaay
Photo via instagram: @missmimaaay
Photo via instagram: @jakejjamieson
Photo via instagram: @jakejjamieson
Photo via instagram: @jpontenza5
Photo via instagram: @jpontenza5

Another lively feature of the market was most definitely the giant mistletoe, hung from a colossal red heart. The attraction had everyone lining up for their turn under the infamous Christmas custom, from couples..

Photo via instagram: @meganbeechy
Photo via instagram: @meganbeechy
Photo via instagram: @paytontarbutt
Photo via instagram: @paytontarbutt

to best friends..

Photo via instagram: @samanthajean34
Photo via instagram: @samanthajean34

and even this cute little guy..

Photo via instagram: @rainaacc
Photo via instagram: @rainaacc

Even Santa took time out of his busy schedule to take some much anticipated photos with family and friends.

Photo via instagram: @boram_bella
Photo via instagram: @boram_bella
Photo via instagram: @the_great_louis
Photo via instagram: @the_great_louis

All of the decor and holiday activities were awe-inspiring, but most would say, the two things that bring people together are food and drink; a pairing in which the market was not lacking. There were great eats, starting with the two Canadian delicacies:

Poutine..

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 10.40.59 AM

..and Maple Bacon Donuts..

Photo via instagram: @trevor_barker
Photo via instagram: @trevor_barker

Which, apparently, are great to wash down with delicious mulled wine, or some lager from Toronto’s very own Mill St. Brewery (whichever tickles your fancy).

Photo via instagram: @alliblair7
Photo via instagram: @alliblair7
Photo via instagram: @connieandcharlotte
Photo via instagram: @connieandcharlotte

The best sight to see are those braving the crowds, turkey leg in hand. The openly determined attendees are happy to share the fun with others, opting for quirky photos with chuckle worthy poses.
Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 11.12.55 AM

Photo via instagram: @lukevucetic
Photo via instagram: @lukevucetic
Photo via instagram: @el_cai
Photo via instagram: @el_cai

Other favourites included the giant potato stick..

Photo via instagram: @krischacha
Photo via instagram: @krischacha

and street pastries to satisfy your Christmas sweet tooth!

Photo via instagram: @agxo
Photo via instagram: @agxo

Vendors are located in booths around the market, showcasing items like handmade ornaments, holiday memorabilia and much more.

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Retro Festive’s booth is on the main strip, about 4 or 5 booths from the Ferris Wheel, and includes a number of our great products, including ornaments, mugs, and kitschy stocking stuffers.

Photo via instagram: @awk_grover
Photo via instagram: @awk_grover

As the official website states, the Toronto Christmas Market is a great place to gather with family and friends to celebrate the tradition and romance of Christmas.

Photo via instagram: @baumanelise
Photo via instagram: @baumanelise

Though, it is quite clear that the reoccurring theme is most definitely love.  The holiday season is a great time to remind those you love of just how much you care for them.

Photo via instagram: @hahamitch
Photo via instagram: @hahamitch
Photo via instagram: @angie.perezzz
Photo via instagram: @angie.perezzz

It is also a great time to ask a certain  important question… (congratulations to this couple)!

Photo via instagram: @kirstenschollig
Photo via instagram: @kirstenschollig

Whether you attend with friends, family, lovers, or pets, the Christmas Market is not something to skip out on!
Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 1.55.08 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-18 at 1.56.13 PMThis weekend is your last chance to stop by and celebrate the holidays at the Distillery District!

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Open:
Friday: 12 noon to 10:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am to 10:00pm
Sunday: 10:00am to 9:00pm

A special thanks to those who have kindly shared their photos with us, seeing everyone’s happy and festive memories was much appreciated and warmed our hearts.

Until next time! Merry Christmas!

 

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