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I Heart XMAS! with Carolyn Mackenzie

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!

Carolyn Mackenzie, Anchor, Global News at 11pm


Carolyn Mackenzie Global News
Carolyn Mackenzie of Global News


  1. What is your favourite Christmas movie or TV special? 
    My favourite Christmas movie is White Christmas.
  1. Does your family have a special or quirky Christmas tradition?Our tradition is singing Christmas carols.
  1. Which do you prefer: to give or receive?  
    I prefer to give
  1. Ugly Christmas Sweaters: Not a Chance – or – The Uglier the Better?
    The latter. I’m always game for some fun!
  1. What do you want Santa to bring you this year? 
    Domestic help? LOL. But sadly, I don’t think Santa provides such presents…


Rock n’ Roll Christmas

Does Christmas make you want to twist and shout? Get all shook up? Rock n’ Roll all night and party ev-er-y day? Retro Festive is here to help! Let’s take a look at the biggest rock acts in history who also love to celebrate the Yuletide season!

The Beatles

Merry Crimble!

Between 1963 and 1969 The Beatles recorded special Christmas albums specifically for their fan club. These recordings ranged from the beautiful to the incredibly strange. One classic Christmas song from these recordings, Christmas Time (Is Here Again), wasn’t officially released until 1995.

Nothing says Christmas time is here again like a Yellow Submarine Beatles Christmas Stocking!

The Grateful Dead

Grateful for Christmas

The Grateful Dead may not be the first band you might think of around Christmas, but their colourful imagery and good-vibes, jam-band aesthetic is a perfect match for the holidays! Throw on that tie-dye shirt and enjoy their rollicking version of Run Run Rudolph.

You can keep your “Deadhead” warm this Christmas with a cozy Grateful Dead Winter Toque!


Merry KISSmas

KISS is an American hard rock band known for fire breathing, blood spitting, levitating drum kits, elaborate pyrotechnics and Christmas! Lead singer Paul Stanley shows you how to party your way through Christmas in this classic MTV segment from 1985.

And of course no Christmas would be complete without this Gene Simmons Nutcracker!


Santa and Elvis

Christmas has never been the same since Elvis’ Christmas Album was release in 1957. The album was so sensational that Irving Berlin, the original author of White Christmas, tried to get the album banned from the radio. The album topped music charts for months and gave birth to a modern Christmas classic, Blue Christmas.

Almost 40 years after his death, Elvis is still one of the biggest stars in Rock n’ Roll history. Treat him like the King he is with this Elvis Tree Topper!

Retro Festive has something for every classic rock fan in the family. We can help you rock around the Christmas tree this holiday season!

Santa Rocker


The Hockey Sweater By Roch Carrier

The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier has been ingrained in the Canadian consciousness since its creation in 1979. The book and animated short speaks to a truly Canadian experience both on and off the ice. But how did Roch Carrier write this iconic story that resonates with so many people?

The Hockey Sweater Roch Carrier

With the surge of Quebec Nationalism in the 1970s, the CBC approached Roch Carrier, an acclaimed writer, to appear on the radio to explain to the nation “what Quebec wants”. Three days before the deadline, Carrier informed the CBC that he could not complete the project. But his appearance had already been promoted and the studio booked, so Roch frantically wrote a story about his youth. That story would become The Hockey Sweater.

The Hockey Sweater is based on a real life ordeal Roch experienced as a child. Growing up in Sainte-Justine, Quebec, Roch, idolized the Montreal Canadiens’ superstar Maurice “The Rocket” Richard.

Maurice Richard Montreal Canadiens
Maurice “The Rocket” Richard

When Roch’s mother sought to replace his old Montreal Canadiens sweater she accidently ordered the sweater of rival team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. The young Roch was humiliated and shunned by his peers for wearing the sweater of the Maple Leafs. And the rest has become a part of Canadian history.

Roch Carrier Toronto Maple Leafs
Young Roch Carrier in his Toronto Maple Leafs sweater

Both Anglophone and Francophone audiences quickly regarded The Hockey Sweater as an iconic work of Canadian literature. The story was adapted into an animated short by the National Film Board of Canada ensuring generations of school children would be exposed to the tale.

The Hockey Sweater has since become a Canadian fixture receiving endless praise and countless prizes. Astronaut Robert Thirsk even took the book with him to space!

The Hockey Sweater went to space
Robert Thirsk presenting Roch Carrier with an out-of-this-world copy of The Hockey Sweater

In 2012, Roch Carrier performed The Hockey Sweater live in-concert with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Roch Carrier Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Roch Carrier performing with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra

A quote from The Hockey Sweater even appears on the Canadian 5 dollar bill!

Roch Carrier 5 dollar bill
The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places – the school, the church and the skating rink – but our real life was on the skating rink.

We at Retro Festive would also like to honour The Hockey Sweater with our own Ugly Christmas NHL Sweaters. Whether you’re looking for an Ugly Montreal Canadiens Sweater or an Ugly Maple Leafs Sweater, we’ll make double sure you get the sweater you ordered! These are Ugly Hockey Sweaters you can be proud to wear!

Hockey Sweater


Win a $500 Shopping Spree in our Mug Shots Contest!

Send us your Mug Shot for a chance to win a $500 RetroFestive shopping spree and other fabulous prizes!

It’s our fourth annual Mug Shot contest and we want YOU to join in the fun!  A $500 RetroFestive shopping sprees up for grabs, plus a host of other prizes.

What is a Mug Shot?
It’s a photo of you and your family or friends celebrating the holidays with our Moose Mugs, Ugly Sweater, Leg Lamp or any other RetroFestive product in the shot!

Mustachioed Moose Mug Man
Mustachioed Moose Mug Man

For more inspiration, check out some of our favourites from last year.

He Shot His Eye Out
He Shot His Eye Out

We’ve got lots of great prizes up for grabs, PLUS a new way to improve your chances of winning!

Simply email us your photo (contest@retrofestive.ca) to be entered in the contest. One Grand Prize winner will be chosen randomly from all entries received for a chance to win a $500 RetroFestive shopping spree! Full Details Below.

Like Father Like Son
Like Father Like Son

As an incentive to make your photo great, a Major Award will be presented to the entry we judge to be the funniest or most creative! The winner of this prize may choose from a full size Leg Lamp OR a case of eight Moose Mugs.  Additionally, a number of Judge’s Choice prizes will also be awarded.

Merry Christmas Charlie Brown
Merry Christmas Charlie Brown

#3: NEW this Year! SOCIAL MEDIA Entries:
When you post your Mug Shot to Facebook or Twitter and tag RetroFestive in the photo, we’ll give you an extra entry into the random draw for a $500 Shopping Spree! You must include the hashtag #mmugshots (on Twitter and/or Facebook) so we can easily find your post.

How to Tag Us on Facebook: You will first have to “like” our page RetroFestive – The Pop Culture Christmas Store. In your status update, if you start typing the word Retro… an option to tag RetroFestive should appear. Just click on it. Don’t forget to include #mmugshots

How to Tag Us on Twitter: Simply insert @RetroFestive into your tweet, along with your photo.  Don’t forget to include #mmugshots

Meet the Griswolds
Meet the Griswolds

How to Enter the Mug Shots Contest:

  • Email your photo to: contest@retrofestive.ca
  • One photo submission per person please
  • Please include a caption/description with your photo, as well as your name and phone number (we will not publish your phone number!)
  • Each entry has a chance to randomly win the $500 Shopping Spree Grand Prize.
  • Each entry will also be judged for a chance to win the Major Award: a full size leg lamp OR case of 8 moose mugs. The entry judged to be The Best (most humorous / most creative) wins the Major Award.  Several “Judges Choice” prizes will also be awarded.
  • Obtain extra entries into the random draw by posting your photo to Facebook and Twitter and tagging RetroFestive (@RetroFestive on Twitter). Include hashtag #mmugshots

    Entrants agree to allow RetroFestive to use their photos for publicity purposes on our website, Facebook and elsewhere.
    Entries may be submitted until Monday, January 5th.  Winners will be announced shortly afterwards.

Griswold Family Reunion
Griswold Family Reunion

Get creative and shoot your best Mug Shots! And have a very Merry Christmas from the gang here at RetroFestive.ca!



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!

Christina Walkinshaw, Stand-up Comedian                        @walkinsauce                                                                     http://resistingmarriage.tumblr.com/

Christina Walkinshaw
The very funny Christina Walkinshaw


What is your favourite Christmas movie or TV special?                                                         Well, I just watched An En Vogue Christmas but it wasn’t all I thought it would be, so I guess I’ll have to say It’s a Wonderful Life.

Does your family have a special or quirky Christmas tradition?                                      Not really. Just the usual Christmas stuff. A mandarin orange in the toe of every stocking, a bunch of stuff that is clearly from Ardene, and a general exchange of stuff nobody wants even though we all asked for cash.

Which do you prefer: to give or receive?                                                                                    Are we still talking about Christmas? Giving. Definitely giving.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters: Not a Chance – or – The Uglier the Better?
I’m more of a tacky Christmas earrings kind of girl.

What do you want Santa to bring you this year?                                                                      A smaller ass.

Christina Walkinshaw is a stand up comic living in Toronto. She was nominated for Best Female Stand-up Comic in the 2012 Canadian Comedy Awards. Read her very funny blogs about her adventures on Tinder and generally resisting marriage.