All posts by Carson Pinch

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!

KISS

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!

ELVIS

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

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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

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I HEART XMAS! WITH CHRISTINA WALKINSHAW

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.

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Top 5 Home Alone Traps

It’s that time of year again when we deck the halls with extremely dangerous traps to deter buglers and bandits!

If Home Alone has taught us anything, it’s that as soon as families leave for Christmas vacation, criminals move in to ransack vacant homes. Your only defense is to leave one precocious child at home to set up elaborate traps to ward off criminals.

Home Alone Battle Plan

We at Retro Festive have compiled the top five most effective Home Alone and Lost in New York Traps.

  1. Simply attach a rope system from the door to the Blowtorch and any burglar will think twice before entering your home again. So simple, so effective.

Home Alone Blow Torch

  1. Got a spare car battery lying around? Attach the battery to anything the would-be robbers would touch and watch the fireworks.

Home Alone Marv skeleton

  1. Pour slippery green Goo near rickety paint shelves – Speaks for itself!

Slippery Goo

paint cans

  1. Bricks are a great way to ward off potential criminals and gravity does most of the work for you!

Home Alone Bricks

  1. When paint cans just aren’t enough, throwing an industrial pipe over the staircase railing will always do the trick.

Home Alone Pipe

There you have it! You too can build your very own elaborate house of traps for when you’re Home Alone. To make things even more authentic you can don your very own Kevin McAllister Knit Reindeer Hat – exclusive to Retro Festive!

Celebrate!

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Retro Festive’s Top 10 Favourite Lines from Elf

Elf is a modern Christmas Classic that has something for everyone. Will Ferrell gives an incredibly funny and heartfelt performance as Buddy, a human raised by Santa’s elves on a quest to reconnect with his Father in New York City. We want to help everyone connect with their Elf-like Christmas spirit by revealing our top ten favourite lines from Elf!

10. It looks like a Christmas tree!

9. You did it! Congratulations! World’s best cup of coffee! Great job, everybody! It’s great to be here.

8. Buddy the Elf. What’s your favourite colour?

7. I’m sorry I ruined your lives and crammed 11 cookies into the VCR.

 6. We Elves try to stick to the four main food groups: Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corn and Syrup.

Show off your love of sugar with this T-Shirt!

5. I just like to smile! Smiling’s my favorite.

4. I’m a cotton-headed, ninny muggings…

Did you know the elf in red is Ralphie from A Christmas Story?

3. You sit on a throne of lies!

2. Watch out! The yellow ones don’t stop.

1. SANTA! OH MY GOD! SANTA’S COMING! I KNOW HIM! I KNOW HIM!

Do you get this excited about Santa? Then this T-Shirt is for you!

And remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Another great way to spread Christmas cheer is to browse Retro Festive’s Elf Section!

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