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Four Very Merry (last minute) Christmas Halloween Costumes!

If there’s one thing we do right at Retro Festive, it’s go all out for Christmas. But just because we love Christmas doesn’t mean we ignore the other holidays.

By now,  Halloween is on it’s way.  And, if you’re anything like us, it snuck up on you because you were so focused on Christmas being so close!

So here are some ideas of last-minute Halloween costumes that you can pull together with the abundance of Christmas paraphernalia you obviously already have lying around:

A Very Merry Christmas Tree

Grab some tinsel, green felt and ornaments – BAM! You’re a Christmas Tree – and don’t forget the star on top!

So you like the Christmas Tree costume, but require an outfit that has more space for hiding candy? Then look no further:

Christmas presents should be year-round


This costume requires a cardboard box, wrapping paper, and ribbon. Couldn’t be simpler! What are you waiting for?! We already know you’re an expert-wrapper – so put those skills to the test and wrap the greatest gift of all: Christmas Spirit.

Never been one for wrapping a beautiful holiday gift? Don’t worry – we’ve got you bag-stuffers covered too:

A quick and easy Christmas Halloween costume


A big bag. Some tissue paper. We could seriously not make this any easier for you.

But if easier is what you require. Just take out your Retro Festive Leg Lamp Costume and throw that on!

A leg-lamp costume for all occasions

It’s not just for everyday-wear anymore! Utilize it and wear it as a costume!

So there you have it. Four wonderfully festive costumes for you to bust out in time for tomorrow! Happy Halloween and Merry Almost Christmas!


Born in Canada: The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

It’s hard to say who invented the garment affectionately known as the Ugly Christmas Sweater. Moms, school teachers and Bill Cosby have been sporting festive knitwear for decades. But when did Christmas Sweaters as a fashion choice make the jump from sincere to ironic?

You might be surprised to learn that the worldwide phenomenon began with two friends from Vancouver, Canada. Chris Boyd and Jordan Birch claim to have invented the concept of an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party back in 2002, when they held their first-annual tongue-in-cheek holiday party in their living room for a handful of their pals.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Guests
Ugly Christmas Sweater party guests at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom.

The pair enlisted another friend, Scott Lindsay, to help plan the ultimate Christmas party, complete with candy canes, eggnog, Christmas carols, decorations and – you guessed it – tacky holiday sweaters!

By 2005, the party had outgrown their Coquitlam B.C. living room and was moved to a larger venue, attracting more than 400 people. Finally, in 2006 the celebration made its final move to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. It has remained there ever since, becoming an annual tradition for sell-out crowds. In fact, the original Ugly Sweater Party is widely considered the city’s hottest holiday event.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Founders
Chris Boyd (left) and Jordan Birch (right) in a 2012 photo by Metro News.

Best of all, the Party and spin-off initiatives have raised a ton of money for non-profit organizations such as The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Birch and Boyd are proud of their legacy and what worldwide phenomenon they helped create.  They promote the motto: Be Ugly. Do Good. Connect. Give. Reconnect and Be Kind.

The ugly friends have even launched a National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day (the Friday before Christmas) and an Ugly Sweater 5K/10K run in both Vancouver and Toronto.


Emporium of Ugly Christmas Sweaters in Toronto / Oakville

Open every day til Christmas, starting Nov. 1st.  (See hours and directions, below)

If you’re in Toronto, the GTA or Southern Ontario and you’re in the market for an Ugly Christmas Sweater, then RetroFestive.ca in Oakville is the place to go!

Shop online or in-store every day til Christmas! RetroFestive has the largest selection of Ugly Christmas Sweaters in Canada. Plus Ugly Christmas Sweater Party decorations and supplies, garish jewelry and gaudy accessories. You’ll feel like a kid at Christmas!

E! Canada Visits Ugly Christmas Sweater Store in Oakville
Tyrone T-Rex Edwards and E! Canada explore the Ugly Sweater selection at RetroFestive.ca in Oakville. We gave them the scoop on why people go crazy for Ugly Christmas Sweaters!


Monday – Sunday: 9:00am – 5:00pm


1100 Invicta Drive, Unit #1, Oakville, ON, L6H 2K9



Christmas Time in Canada

Growing up, I loved being with my grandparents. They were wonderful people who know how to have fun. However, I could never understand their taste in music. Country, Western, and Bluegrass – that is all they ever listened to. Stompin’ Tom Connors, Humphrey and the Dumptrucks, and The Yodeling Cowboy Wilf Carter were some of their favourites.

It wasn’t until years later, and after they were gone, that I began to appreciate and then love these genres. Then began my search for the Holy Grail of Christmas albums in my family: “Christmas in Canada” by Wilf Carter.

Canadian Christmas album by Wilf Carter
Album cover of Christmas in Canada by Wilf Carter

This album features some wonderful Christmas songs that are funny (Ting-A-Ling-A Jingle), touching (An Old Christmas Card), and just plain Canadian (Christmas Time in Canada) with lyrics like:

It’s Christmas time in Canada / Be merry while we can / It’s Christmas time in Canada / God bless our native land

This album, which was released in 1965, seems to be a rare one. Most record store clerks have barely heard of Wilf Carter, let alone his Canadian Christmas album.

This past October, after years of flipping through vinyl at every thrift store, yard sale and record swap I’ve come across, I decided to go into a consignment store that is one block away from my house. I have walked by it almost every day for the past three years but had never gone inside.

The store had a mess of records piled all over the floor, but they were not organized in any fashion. After a few minutes, I asked if there was a country section. He pointed to a cardboard box under a bunch of old dishes. “Christmas in Canada” was the sixth record I flipped to, and I felt like Ralphie, when he finally got his official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock.


Dismembered! A Halloween Leg Lamp

Our favourite Christmas decoration of all time is the trusty leg lamp from A Christmas Story! It goes up in our home on November 1st and stays up til New Years Day. Cars slow down and people even get out to take pictures next to the “electric sex” glowing in our front window.

Last Halloween, I wondered if there might be a way to extend the leg lamp love into the haunting season.  I invented the dismembered leg lamp! It made it’s debut at our annual Haunted House!

Halloween Leg Lamp
The perfect Halloween Leg Lamp!

Here’s how you can make your own Halloween Leg Lamp!

  1. A variety of leg lamps are available for purchase from websites such as RetroFestive.ca. We chose to use the biggest one: the 50″ Major Award!
  2. Carefully cut or rip strategically placed holes in the stocking and the lamp shade. We started with small, conservative holes, but then had more fun with it and made the holes bigger so they can be easily seen from the road.
  3. Grab a can of red spray paint and go to town! We used Fusion by Krylon, it’s the kind made for use on plastic.  Spray it on very heavy, so it drips like real blood. Let dry overnight.
  4. We also soaked the lamp shade with strong tea to give it a more aged, weathered look.
  5. Replace the top bulb with a red lightbulb (or green) to give it an eerie glow.

We used a flash in this photo, so you can see the details better.

Dimembered Leg Lamp
Optional: Add a femur bone using a few strokes of white spray paint.

And there you have it! Your very own Halloween Leg Lamp!  Extra points if you build a FRA-GEE-LAY crate to display it on, like we did!

OR, if you’re really adventurous, you can create a REAL dismembered leg lamp like Leo Bonten did. He’s a 53-year-old from the Netherlands who had his leg amputated after a bad infection. When doctors told him the leg had to go, he fought for the right to keep it. But, what to do with it? He decided to make his very own, genuine leg lamp!

Amputated Leg Lamp

Bonten hired a lighting designer to create the one-of-a-kind lamp. The designer fixed the amputated leg in a large vase full of formaldehyde and rigged up a unique bulb and shade. He even later tried to sell it on eBay for $125,000, but eBay removed the listing since it does not allow the sale of body parts. Now he’s trying to sell in privately.

amputated leg lamp
A Dutch man created his own Dismembered Leg Lamp!

Of course, if you really want your own Halloween leg lamp, you could always choose an easier route.  RetroFestive.ca sells this awesome Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch Leg Lamp.

Wicked Witch Leg Lamp with Box
Wizard of Oz Wicked Witch Leg Lamp