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Hockey Sweaters and The Holidays

Hockey is important to many Canadians. We throw on our hockey sweater and tune in weekly to watch our favourite teams whether they delight or disappoint us. I have always found the holidays are a great time to experience our national sport, while spending time with family.

hockey sweater










When I was growing up my entire family would come together in the common room of the Legion Manor, where my grandparents lived in Prince Edward County. The men would eat cashews and talk shop, the women would prepare a giant meal, and the kids would run wildly without consequence, having been allowed to eat more treats in one afternoon than they had all year.

After dinner we would all end up watching hockey together. Sometimes it was the last regular season games of the year, sometimes it was preliminary rounds of the World Juniors, but they all brought us together. It was a time of rest for the weary, a source of entertainment for the socially awkward, and a trial of anticipation for the die-hard fans – especially those with Pro-Line tickets.

hockey sweater santa
Santa gives the Leafs a piece of his mind. Photo by John C Whitehead








We would often exchange gifts while watching the game as well, where memorabilia such a hockey sweater, t-shirt, gloves, coffee mug, hat and scarf where given, which were exclusively branded with the Toronto Maple Leafs logo. If you were given something with the Montreal Canadiens on it, you knew you were the butt of a joke.

This was years before the Ugly Christmas Sweater craze, but the NHL Ugly Christmas sweaters and slippers that are available these days would have been gratefully accepted back at the Legion Manor.

hockey sweater


hockey sweaterThe great thing about giving hockey-related gifts at Christmas is that they really are a gift that keeps on giving.

You can wear your NHL Ugly Christmas gear while watching the rest of the
World Junior Championships, or the Winter Classic on New Years Day, and for the rest of the regular season.




Since Santa cannot bring the Stanley Cup to the Toronto Maple Leafs, no matter how good they’ve been, it’s best to take comfort in the fact that hockey is a wonderful holiday tradition we can all enjoy!


Retrofestive Grand Opening 2015


Andy Williams got it right! It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Our official 2015 grand opening took place on Saturday November 14th, and the turn-out was nothing short of incredible.

Busy Christmas Store

The show room was packed full with festive patrons, and curious newcomers to our seasonal hot spot.

The event was buzzing from open, to close, with hot apple cider, Christmas cookies, candy canes, and of course, a celebratory cake that was cut by owner Tyler Schwartz  (or should we say Charlie Brown)!

RetroFestive Grand Opening 2015

And of course, Charlie brought some familiar faces along with him! Snoopy and the Peanuts gang took some time out of their Christmas Play rehearsals to wish the town of Oakville a very merry Holiday season!


Next to the chipper Peanuts crew, Operation Christmas Child braved the chilly weather outside to distribute their Christmas shoeboxes. If you are unfamiliar with the organization, the hands-on project focuses on filling an empty box with school supplies, hygene products and small toys, and is given to children in need, regardless of gender, race, or religion.

IMG_0013IMG_0004While surrounded by the commercialism of Christmas, Operation Christmas Child reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas, which is giving.

Along with our spirited collection of guests, comes the big guy himself, Santa! Bringing along Ms. Claus, and a large basket of yummy candy canes, he was putting smiles on many faces while guests sat on his knee and told him their Christmas wishes!


And rumor has it, Snoopy, an old family friend of the Claus’, told Santa he was wishing for some new shades this Christmas.


We’re so delighted that people of all ages were enjoying the Christmas themed festivities that we put together! From crafts….


To photo-ops with the Grinch…


We are overwhelmed by the amount of support we received and the fun that was had. We could not have asked for a better day, and we hope that every single person went home with a little more Christmas spirit in their hearts!

RetroFestive is officially open now. Store hours are 9AM-5PM Saturday-Tuesday, and 9AM-7PM Wednesday-Friday. Stop by for all of your Kitschy Christmas needs, like Ugly Sweaters, Leg Lamps, Moose Mugs, and matching onsies:

We hope to see you soon! Have a safe and wonderful Christmas season!

See more photos of Opening Day on our Facebook page:



Festive Mug Recipes

After a long day of Christmas shopping and gift wrapping, sometimes the best thing is a freshly baked treat like cookies, cake, or a little something savoury. But it’s already 9 o’clock, and the kitchen is a mess, so there is no chance of traditional baking.

Good news! Why not throw some simple ingredients into a mug, zap them in the microwave and enjoy? We have complied some awesome and easy mug recipes to match our most festive mugs this season.

Gingerbread Mug Cake

festive mug recipesThe good people at JustPutzing.com have a wonderful recipe for Gingerbread Mug Cake that takes no time at all, and will taste great in our ceramic “Bite Me – Gingerbread Man” coffee mug.


Mixed Berry Crisp

mug recipesHave a very Beary, or uh, Berry Christmas with this recipe for a Mixed Berry Crisp from the Food Network, in our Beary X-Mas mug. With just seven ingredients, and two minutes in the microwave, it’s like a bear hug for your taste buds.



Maple Syrup Pancakes in a Mug

elf mug recipesIf you are like Buddy the Elf and carry maple syrup with you wherever you go, then this recipe is for you. You can make this recipe in our “I’m a Human but I was raised by Elves” mug for a quick breakfast, or a sweet snack.



Pizza in a Mug

If your older brother Buzz ate all of the cheese pizza, you can quickly make your own in your Home Alone mug. Watch the video from Simple Cooking Channel to find out how!


1-Minute Dark Chocolate Mug Cake For 2

Star Wars mug recipesIf you like your chocolate a little on the dark side, then this Star Wars Imperial mug will be perfect for Frugal Edmonton Mama’s One-Minute Dark Chocolate Mug Cake recipe.

Never underestimate the power of dark chocolate!


Garlic Biscuits in a Mug

mug recipesThe Grinch has garlic in his soul, but Garlic Biscuits are good soul food. These biscuits are gluten free, low on carbs and take less than ten minutes to make. Fair warning: there will only be crumbs left in the house, crumbs even too small for a mouse!


Microwave Peanut Butter Swirl Brownie

We were inspired to put this Peanut Butter recipe in this Rudolph mug by one of our favourite moments in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:
Yukon Cornelius: This fog’s as thick as peanut butter!
Hermey: You mean pea soup.
Yukon Cornelius: You eat what you like, and I’ll eat what I like!

mug recipes
But don’t worry you can warm up some pea soup in the Rudolph mug too, we don’t judge!

You can find these, and other Christmas mugs here: www.retrofestive.ca/mugs-glassware


I Heart XMAS with Carolyn Jarvis

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 Jarvis 
16X9 Chief Correspondent

Carolyn Jarvis
Carolyn Jarvis, 16X9 Chief Correspondent


What is your favourite Christmas movie or TV special?
I’m not a repeat-movie viewer, but I do love escaping to the theatre at Christmas time to catch the latest release. Wishing there was another Lord of the Rings movie this year!




Does your family have a special or quirky Christmas tradition?
I love the Messiah. LOOOVE the Messiah. If my mom’s in town, we geek out and go to a sing-along-Messiah with our tattered scores. If not, I blast Handel as loud as my family lets me, all Christmas morning.

Which do you prefer: to give or receive? 
Give, give, give!

Which Peanuts character do you think your friends and family would say reminds them of you?
Oooooh, I think I’d be a female-Charlie Brown – piano-playing, Beethoven loving, friend to animals… that’s my style.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters: Not a Chance – or – The Uglier the Better?
Hahaha. My husband takes care of this department for me. (He knows which one I’m talking about)

What do you want Santa to bring you this year?
A mild winter! (Sorry, skiers!) There’s nothing I dislike more than a bone-chilling winter’s day. If perhaps, we could stay close to zero this year, I’d be eternally grateful.


2015 Christmas Season Grand Opening Event

It’s hard to believe it’s that time of year again! With Halloween and Remembrance Day behind us, it’s full-speed on to Christmas! And RetroFestive, Canada’s Pop Culture Christmas Store, isn’t missing a beat. We’re hosting our 2015 Grand Opening Celebration at our Oakville Store on Saturday, November 14, and we’ve got loads of fun and special treats planned!

50 years of A Charlie Brown Christmas Logo

In honour of the 50th Anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas, we’re pleased to be hosting none other than Snoopy himself at our Oakville location. Snoopy will be joined by Santa and Mrs. Claus. They will be meeting, greeting and taking photos with good boys and girls of all ages! Snoopy selfie anyone?!

Snoopy Meet and Greet at RetroFestive
Snoopy will greet his fans at RetroFestive. Nov 14, 10am – 2pm. (Mariah Carey not included!)

For the Kids!

We’ll have a kids activity tent set up out front, where kids can create a Snoopy headband or colour a Snoopy activity sheet. Plus, we’ve got lots of Peanuts stickers and packs of Peanuts crayons to give away. Don’t forget, Santa and Mrs. Claus will be here too, from 10am til 2pm.

For the Adults!

We’ll be cutting our special Grand Opening cake and offering a free gift with every purchase. Plus, you can enter our draw to win a VIP family pass for four to see The Peanuts Movie at Oakville’s Film.ca Cinemas, complete with snacks! RetroFestive is also offering special pricing on Charlie Brown Trees during our Grand Opening party.

Santa and RetroFestive Team
Santa and Retro Festive Team

Help Us Pack 500 Shoeboxes for Needy Children

RetroFestive has partnered with Operation Christmas Child as a distribution and drop-off center for their Christmas shoeboxes. Pick up an empty box during our opening day celebration and fill it with school supplies, hygene supplies and small toys. You can drop off your filled shoeboxes at RetroFestive and we’ll get them to the children who need them. More details here.

Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

RetroFestive Grand Opening Event Details:

  • Saturday, November 14.
  • Store Open 9am – 5pm
  • Cake Cutting at 10am
  • Snoopy and Santa Claus appearing 10am – 2pm
  • Activity tent in front of building where kids can create a Snoopy headband and colour Peanuts activity pages.
  • Free gift with every purchase!