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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.

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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..

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..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.
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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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Christmas with the Force! Star Wars: The Force Awakens

SW-THE-FORCE-AWAKENS

The results are in, and the first complete reviews for the new ‘Star Wars’ film, The Force Awakens, have deemed it as “a triumph” and “instant classic”. In fact, the film was given an abundance of 5 star ratings by several UK newspapers. JJ Abrams’s tremendously hyped seventh instalment in the blockbuster series hits theatres, world wide, tomorrow (one week until Christmas!).

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Some would claim that the reputation of the franchise had been tarnished considerably by the fairly unpopular and mediocre prequel trilogy of 1999-2005, all directed by creator George Lucas. However, ten years after the last film release, fans of the original trilogy are predicting The Force Awakens will be the best movie of all time- a pretty redeeming title to say the least.

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The Guardian stated the film ‘shows itself a movie in the spirit of the original trilogy, which ended with Return of the Jedi in 1983‘, which will be sure to make avid devotees of the initial space-opera very delighted.

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Considering the film’s release date is so close to the holidays, it is more than appropriate to spend Christmas with Hans, Yoda and Princess Leia; and don’t worry, Retro Festive has you covered!

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With fantastic gifts of the Star Wars variety, our items range from stocking stuffers, string lights, and intergalactic decor.

May the Force Be With Yule Star Wars Light Up Canvas Yoda
Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 10.31.55 AMSanta Yoda, dressed in all his Christmas glory, offers a punny wish for you this holiday season: “May the Force be with Yule.”

Star Wars lovers will light up when they see this festive light-up canvas. Press the hidden button to light up Yoda’s starry sky with LED lights. Yo-da man, Yoda!

Darth Vadar Star Wars Holiday Nutcracker

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“Luke… I am … your Nutcracker!”

Meet Lord Darth Vader in nutcracker form.

Handcrafted from hardwood to depict the iconic character from the Star Wars movies. Darth Vader stands 10″ tall and is draped in a vinyl cape, capped by his signature black helmet. He holds his red lightsaber and is decorated with details including vinyl boots, his breathing apparatus, and chest control unit.

A New Hope Star Wars Light up LED Stocking

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Resist the Dark Side this Christmas by hanging our Star Wars A New Hope Light-Up L.E.D. Stocking! Features the artwork from the Star Wars film that started it all.

This festive holiday stocking features cleverly placed L.E.D. lights that bring the artwork to life. Press the button and the lightsabers and blaster guns illuminate!

Star Wars Holiday Art Signs

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Deck the halls with the power of the force! Our Star Wars themed art blocks mingle rustic undertones with season’s greetings from the much-loved Star Wars characters. Each wooden block measures approximately 5-inches long.

Perfect for holiday display on your mantle or any shelf. These little signs also make great stocking stuffers!

Make your choice below, or save money when you buy the set! Choices include:

  • Boba Fett – Wishing You a Bountyful Christmas Season
  • Darth Vader – I Find Your Lack of Cheer Disturbing
  • Yoda – May the Force be with Yule

Boba Fett Star Wars Christmas String Lights

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Now you can light up your Christmas tree with the ‘best bounty hunter in the galaxy.’ Our Boba Fett string of lights is perfect for decorating for the holidays … or year-round! Each of the ten lights in this novelty set resembles the legendary Mandalorian warrior, Boba Fett from the Star Wars franchise.

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Be sure to secure your Force Awakens tickets, and come back to www.retrofestive.ca for all of your kitschy and retro holiday needs!

Have a very Merry Christmas, and may the force be with you!

 

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