heart
« go back to the store

Christmas Movies

Join the Jelly of the Month Club!

Clark Griswold Jelly of the Month Club Gift SetJelly of the Month Club – A Canadian Exclusive to Retro Festive

We all have someone on our Christmas list who’s just soooo hard to buy for each year. Either they already have everything… or they insist they want nothing. There must be an easier way!

We’ve got just the thing. Welcome to the Jelly of the Month Club.

Inspired by National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Retro Festive has compiled the ultimate Christmas gift that keeps on giving the whole year. In the past decade, we’ve sold tens of thousands of Clark Griswold moose mugs, and our loyal fans are always asking: What’s New?  What’s Next?  This is it!

Jelly of the Month Club Gift Set CanadaWe set out to create the perfect Christmas gift that just about anyone will love! True fans of Christmas Vacation will get a chuckle out of the tongue-in-cheek nature our Club, complete with official certificate, check-list and tasting notes. But even those who don’t know the movie word-for-word will appreciate the Canadian-made quality of our jams and jellies in twelve different flavours.

Jelly of the Month Club Certificate included!

We looked high and low to find the best jelly and jam around, and we found it in our own back-yard, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.  Virtually an Ontario institution, Greaves has been making pure old-fashioned jams, jellies, marmalades and condiments since 1927, using only the finest fruits, sugar and spices. They still use their time-tested recipes, and they stir each batch by hand in open stainless-steel kettles. No pectin or preservatives are added.

Proud Product of Canada

Each Jelly of the Month Club gift set is hand-packed by our team here in Oakville, Ontario.  We offer affordable shipping rates via Canada Post, or you can enjoy Free Shipping when your order totals $99 or more. We’ve already had customers buying 3, 4 and even 12 gift sets, saying that they’re the perfect thing for just about everyone they know!

Our Jelly of the Month Club is also the ultimate company Christmas gift! If you are in charge of employee Christmas gifts where you work, or you know someone who is, contact us for discount details on orders of 10 or more Jelly of the Month gift sets.

Here’s what’s included in each Jelly of the Month Club gift set:

  • Jelly of the Month Club certificate you can personalize
  • 12 jars of jelly and jam (a different 64ml. flavour each month)
  • Official monthly check-list
  • Tasting notes
  • Handsome and sturdy gift box

Here’s the list of flavours included in each gift set:

  • January: Grape Jelly
  • February: Blackberry Jam
  • March: Three Fruit Marmalade
  • April: Black Currant Jam
  • May: Rhubarb Raspberry Jam
  • June: Strawberry Jam
  • July: Cherry Jam
  • August: Peach Jam
  • September: Crabapple Jelly
  • October: Raspberry Jam
  • November: Rhubarb Strawberry
  • December: Plum Jam

Check out all our New Items for 2016

Tags

New Christmas Specials – Classics in the Making

December is a wonderful time of year because that’s when we can all gather around the TV to watch classic Christmas specials and movies like Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, Home Alone, or The Year Without a Santa Claus.

Movie and TV studios hope for a Christmas miracle when they produce new specials around the holidays. Sometimes they are smashing successes like Elf, and sometimes they are a little forgettable like Frosty Returns.

New Christmas Specials

 

We have been trying to keep up the new Christmas specials that have been released this year. Before you watch them, here are our reviews!

Warning: Spoiler Alerts, probably
Reviews by Damien Nelson and Danielle LaSage

A Very Murray Christmas

Netflix has been creating amazing original work for years, so it was inevitable that they would make a new Christmas special too. But who knew they would recruit the likes of Bill Murray?

This Christmas special follows Bill Murray as he is about to begin a holiday show at The Carlyle, on live television, during the biggest snowstorm of the season. When the weather keeps Bill’s celebrity friends away, Bill is forced to cancel his show and create a party with the other guests trapped in the hotel.

This is where the storyline ends. Although A Very Murray Christmas begins like a movie, it is essentially a classic celebrity variety show. It features comedy sketches, dozens of surprise cameos, and lots of lovely songs.

It is a hilarious Christmas special, and I think it will age well in the coming years because Bill Murray’s humour is timeless and much loved. The cameos alone are worth the watch! Honestly, do not stop watching until you see Clooney.

I give it 10 Celebrity Cameos out of 12.
The bottom line:
Miley Cyrus cannot lip sync. This is actually a good thing!

 

The Peanuts Movie

I have to admit I was nervous about The Peanuts Movie. After all these years, why mess with a good thing? But I was pleasantly surprised.

The Peanuts Movie is not technically a Christmas special. The film actually follows the Peanuts gang over the course of a school year, so it features many holidays including Christmas.

The script is simple and sweet, and revisits many classic characters without being tedious. The animation is pleasing to the eye, and the voice work is lovely. The only bone I have to pick with this film is that it relied on old one-liners and storylines from other Peanuts specials, instead of creating new adventures for the Gang.

I give it 6 Red Barons out of 10.
The bottom line: It is a joyful little film that die-hard Peanuts fans will enjoy no matter what.

 

Krampus

For those in search of a new type of Christmas story…look no further! It seems that the once obscure holiday knowledge of Krampus is becoming more and more commonplace.

When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.

Well, if that doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will.

Krampus was co-written and directed by Michael Dougherty, which fits perfectly, as he is probably best known for the film Trick R Treat. Dougherty accomplishes a film that is effectively frightening, and comically amusing when it needs to be. And with a cast featuring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Allison Tolman and David Koechner, you’re bound for nothing short of entertaining. The whole cast dances the line of comedy and drama so gracefully; it makes for a very enjoyable flick.

I would not recommend this movie for children … unless you really want to keep them in line; in which case, make it a family holiday tradition!

I give it 5 Candy Canes out of 8.
The bottom line: This is a seriously fun flick. If you enjoy horror and enjoy the holiday season – this is not one to miss!

Tags

Christmas Villains Who Give Us the Creeps

Christmas movies always begin nicely. The tree is trimmed, the gifts are wrapped, the turkey is in the oven, the quirky family has arrived, and the magic of the holidays is in the air – but there is one Christmas villain who must turn this wonderful season into a problem!

This December there will be a new film released that focuses on the ultimate Christmas villain – Krampus.

Krampus, starring Adam Scott from Parks and Recreation, Allison Tolman from Fargo, and Toni Collett from United States of Tara, is a live action horror/dark comedy about a modern dysfunctional family at Christmas, and a visit from the horned, ancient monster of European folklore, who punishes naughty children.

In honour of Krampus‘ arrival, we have compiled a list of Christmas villains who give us the creeps!

Scut Farkus – A Christmas Story
Scut Farkus staring out at us with his yellow eyes. He had yellow eyes! So, help me, God! Yellow eyes!”

Christmas villain

Scut Farkus, played by Canadian Zack Ward, was the local bully for Ralphie Parker and the gang in A Christmas Story, but in real life he raises money for anti-bullying programs.

 

The Grinch – Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Your soul is an appalling dump-heap, overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of rubbish imaginable, mangled up in tangled up knots!”

Christmas villain

 

 

 

 

 

 

They wrote a whole song describing how bad this guy was. But the power of a Christmas song also made his heart grow three sizes!

 

Scrooge – A Christmas Carol
Christmas is a very busy time for us, Mr. Cratchit. People preparing feasts, giving parties, spending the mortgage money on frivolities. One might say that December is the foreclosure season. Harvest time for the money-lenders.”

Christmas villain

Since his creation in 1843 by Charles Dickens, the cruel stinginess of Ebenezer Scrooge has been portrayed by Michael Caine, Tim Curry, Alastair Sim, Patrick Stewart, and Scrooge McDuck in countless plays, TV shows and movies. Why has this story been told so many times, in so many ways? Perhaps we all hope to redeem ourselves for past mistakes, just as Scrooge does after seeing the error of his ways.

 

Heat Miser and Snow Miser – Year Without a Santa Claus
“Friends call me Snow Miser, whatever I touch turns to snow in my clutch. I’m too much.”
“They call me Heat Miser. Whatever I touch starts to melt in my clutch. I’m too much.”

Christmas villains

The Miser Brothers are not the worst of the Christmas villains, but their refusal to get along and work together really slows Mrs Claus down on her mission to save Christmas.

 

Harry F. Potter – It’s a Wonderful Life
George, I am an old man, and most people hate me. But I don’t like them either so that makes it all even.”

Christmas villain

Mr Potter might be the most frustrating Christmas villain. He is pure evil and treats people terribly, but he never gets what is coming to him. He makes no attempt to become a better person, and George Bailey receives no chance at revenge!

Thankfully the cast of Saturday Night Live found the alternative ending of It’s a Wonderful Life, which seals Potter’s fate!

 

Professor Hinkle – Frosty the Snowman
We evil magicians have to make a living, too!

Christmas villains

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Professor Hinkle was just about the worst magician in the world, and he was pretty bad at being a villain too. He did try to ruin some pretty fantastic Christmas magic by stealing his hat from Frosty the Snowman and the children, but he was easily thwarted with the help of the Hocus the rabbit. I wonder how long it took him to write “I am very sorry for what I did to Frosty” a hundred zillion times.

 

Wet Bandits – Home Alone
I think we’re getting scammed by a kindergartener.

Christmas villains

Marv and Harry were small time thieves who thought they would get a big payoff scamming houses during the holidays. Eight year-old Kevin McCallister prevented that with a painful obstacle course. Just when you thought The Wet Bandits couldn’t get any worse, they try to rob a toy store of their charitable work during Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Thankfully Kevin is there to once again show them what’s what at Christmas!

If you have a Christmas villain in your life, you know what to get them:
Christmas villains

Tags

Home Alone – Where Are They Now?

On November 16, 1990 a new Christmas movie, which would go on to spawn four sequels, was released to massive success. Written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus, Home Alone told the story of young Kevin McCallister who had to defend his home from blundering thieves after a family feud left him home alone at Christmas.

Kevin McCallister hat - Home Alone
Kevin McCallister grocery shopping in his reindeer hat

After 25 years, Home Alone is still considered one of the best Christmas movies of all time. But what are the stars of Home Alone up to now?

Macaulay Culkin was a very successful child actor with many notable movie credits including the role of Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Uncle Buck and My Girl until he retired from acting at age 14. In 2014 he founded The Pizza Underground, a New York-based band who re-work Velvet Underground songs into odes about pizza. The Pizza Underground toured North America that year, with two stops in Toronto at NXNE and Atomic Lollipop at the Ontario Science Centre.

Kevin Mcallister Home Alone with cheese pizza

Catherine O’Hara, who played Culkin’s mother in the Home Alone franchise, is currently starring in CBC’s hit show Schitt’s Creek. O’Hara also voiced Sally in The Nightmare Before Christmas, solidifying her spot in the Christmas Movie Hall of Fame, you know, in addition to Canada’s Walk of Fame.

The late, great John Candy had a small but crucial part in Home Alone as Gus Polinski, the Polka King of the Midwest, who gives Catherine O’Hara’s character a ride home. John Candy’s legacy lives on in our hearts and on our screens, but also in the newly opened John Candy Box Theatre at the Second City Training Centre in Toronto.

The Wet Bandits - Home Alone
The Wet Bandits (Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci)

The Wet Bandits, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, were a not-so-dynamic duo who were outsmarted and overwhelmed by Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Joe Pesci has not been acting in recent years – when you take a paint can to the face you deserve a break! – but he recently voiced Mosquito in the animated feature Savva, Heart of the Warrior. Daniel Stern, who played Marv, has had numerous roles on television in recent years, and in 2012 played The Old Man in A Christmas Story 2, which was filmed in Vancouver.

Thankfully, we can relive the hilarity of Home Alone on Netflix, Shomi, or the original VHS that’s still kicking around!

Tags

Our 15 Favourite Christmas Movie Morals

Christmas Movies allow us to feel nostalgic as we’re reminded of all of the cheer surrounding the festive holiday; but most classics serve another purpose—teaching us valuable life lessons we can keep with us all year long.

 

1. Movie: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer:
Lesson: Celebrate your differences

Ruldolph-sunburn-GIF
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, 1964

We all know the story; Rudolph’s “shortcoming” becomes his strongest asset in the end. He saves Christmas guiding Santa’s sleigh with his glowing red nose. The simple lesson here is that even when you feel like a misfit, your flaws and quirks often become your best qualities.

2. Movie: A Christmas Story
Lesson: Don’t give in to peer pressure

giphy
A Christmas Story, 1983

Sometimes we do things we know are stupid, just because someone tells (or triple-dog dares) us to. This can really get us stuck in bad situation. It’s important not to give in to the pressure of impressing others.

3. Movie: Polar Express
Lesson: Everybody has doubts

believe
The Polar Express, 2004

But just because you grow up, doesn’t mean you have to stop believing, especially about things we can’t see or hold like the future or Santa. Sometimes, you have to take a leap of faith and just believe.

4. Movie: It’s A Wonderful Life
Lesson: Your life has a purpose

tumblr_lueifaKnSh1qd6k8fo1_500
It’s A Wonderful Life, 1946

We have no idea how significantly our lives impact others. If George never existed, he wouldn’t have been able to save the life of Harry, his brother, when they were young. The moral of the story is: George thought the world was better off without him, but in reality, it wasn’t.

5. Movie: Home Alone
Lesson: Be careful what you wish for

"I made my family disappear" scene from Home Alone
Home Alone, 1990

Sometimes, what you think you want and what you actually need are two very different things. You never really know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Sure, Kevin was excited to have the house to himself at first, but by Christmas morning, he was really missing the McCallister clan.

6. Movie: Nightmare Before Christmas
Lesson: Passion is contagious

jack-skellington-pumpkin-king
Nightmare Before Christmas, 1993

Being a leader also means being a team player. Though, no one in Halloween Town understood the true meaning of Christmas, they trusted in Jack’s plan because of his amount of passion towards his vision.

7. Movie: Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Lesson: The journey is just as important as the destination

1783adf0-8f9d-11e3-8069-c5c9dcf1826e_Rankin-One-Foot
Santa Claus is Coming to Town, 1970

Sometimes you have to stop and smell the roses. Achieving your goals can be amazing, but its the friendships you make, and the lessons you learn along the way, that really make it worth the while.

8. Movie: Just Friends
Lesson: Never forget where you came from

Just Friends, 2005
Just Friends, 2005

Chris was so caught up in his new life, that he forgot about his friends and family back at home. After being forced into spending Christmas in his hometown, he realizes that being ashamed of where you come from is pointless.

9. Movie: Love, Actually
Lesson: Sometimes the most simple gestures can have the most impact

Love, Actually, 2003
Love, Actually, 2003

Grand gestures can be nice, but it’s the little things in life that matter the most. Letting someone know how you feel about them can really make an impact on their happiness.

10. Movie: Elf
Lesson: Never doubt your own abilities

Elf, 2003
Elf, 2003

If Buddy gave up, he would have never saved Christmas. When you start to doubt yourself, you make it easy for others to doubt you, too.

11. Movie: Charlie Brown Christmas
Lesson: Love is all you need

A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965
A Charlie Brown Christmas, 1965

Linus summed it up perfectly: “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”

12. Movie: Frosty the Snowman
Lesson: Friendship is the greatest gift

Frosty the Snowman, 1969
Frosty the Snowman, 1969

Before Olaf, another friendly snowman taught us that, “Some people are worth melting for.”

13. Movie: National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Lesson: You cant choose your family

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, 1989
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 1989

Every family has their quirks. Learn to have a good time and roll with whatever happens when relatives come into town!

14. Movie: The Santa Claus
Lesson: Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing

The Santa Clause, 1994
The Santa Clause, 1994

We don’t always need proof to believe in something. Sometimes, all we need is faith, and then we will believe.

and last, but certainly not least…

15. Movie: The Grinch
Lesson: Christmas Day will always be, just so long as we have we have we

The Grinch, 1966
The Grinch, 1966

Material items will come and go, but the spirit of Christmas lives within the hearts of those who love and celebrate each other.

Tags