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Merry Kitschmas Canada! – Kitschy Christmas Ornaments

Christmas is a sacred time to spend time with friends and family, but who says Christmas can’t be kitschy? You’ve gotta have a sense of humour to get through those long Canadian winters!

As a child, my mother would decorate her immaculate Christmas trees with gorgeous twinkle lights, beautiful garlands and matching ornaments. She enjoyed the ritual of decorating it, but preferred to do it alone.

Kitschy Christmas Ornaments
Anything goes on the kids Christmas tree!

My siblings and I had our own kid Christmas tree to decorate in the rec room, and we could use anything we wanted to dress it up. We had handmade ornaments, candy garland and cartoon character ornaments.

Still, I wish we had access to some of the kitschy Christmas ornaments available today. My sister would have loved a Unicorn Ornament for her obsession with The Last Unicorn, and – let’s face it – my brother deserved to trim the tree with a Krampus.

Kitschy Christmas Krampus Ornaments
This Krampus ornament serves as a threat to the truely naughty . . . or kitschy!

My mother still decorates her home to divine levels, but she also adds a touch of vintage flair with things like retro Christmas signs, or ornaments passed down from my grandmother.

kitschy Christmas ornament Classic Santa Clause sign
A classic Santa image on this Vintage Santa Claus sign

My siblings and I continue to keep our family Christmas kitschy with ugly Christmas sweaters, funny coffee mugs and trading cheeky Christmas cards!





It’s A Wonderful Life Mulled Wine Recipe

Frank Capra’s classic 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life is the most heartwarming Christmas movie ever made. One of the most humorous scenes in the film is when George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) brings his endearing guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody (Henry Travers), to “Nick’s” seedy bar where Clarence orders “mulled wine, heavy on the cinnamon and light on the cloves. Off with you, me lad, and be lively!

Although Nick was not amused with the drink order, the idea of mulled wine makes mouths water!

Mulled Wine Recipe
Clarence orders his Mulled Wine recipe from Nick







To make mulled wine at home, follow this recipe from It’s a Wonderful Life: Memory Book by Stephen Cox.

Clarence’s Mulled Wine Recipe

2 1/4 cups of water

2 tablespoons of sugar

3 whole cinnamon sticks

2 bottles of red wine

1 clove

1/2 cup of cognac

Lemon wedge (optional)

Bring the water, cinnamon sticks, clove and sugar to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the wine, then heat slowly until hot again. Stir in the cognac, and remove from heat. Pour into festive mugs, moose or otherwise, and add a twist of lemon.

For a Canadian twist on this Christmas recipe, replace the wine with apple cider – and a dollop of maple syrup – from your local farmer’s market!

Transfer your mulled wine or cider to a punch bowl at your annual Christmas party, or a slow cooker on a low setting to keep it warm.

Every time a bell rings . . . drink!


Four Very Merry (last minute) Christmas Halloween Costumes!

If there’s one thing we do right at Retro Festive, it’s go all out for Christmas. But just because we love Christmas doesn’t mean we ignore the other holidays.

By now,  Halloween is on it’s way.  And, if you’re anything like us, it snuck up on you because you were so focused on Christmas being so close!

So here are some ideas of last-minute Halloween costumes that you can pull together with the abundance of Christmas paraphernalia you obviously already have lying around:

A Very Merry Christmas Tree

Grab some tinsel, green felt and ornaments – BAM! You’re a Christmas Tree – and don’t forget the star on top!

So you like the Christmas Tree costume, but require an outfit that has more space for hiding candy? Then look no further:

Christmas presents should be year-round


This costume requires a cardboard box, wrapping paper, and ribbon. Couldn’t be simpler! What are you waiting for?! We already know you’re an expert-wrapper – so put those skills to the test and wrap the greatest gift of all: Christmas Spirit.

Never been one for wrapping a beautiful holiday gift? Don’t worry – we’ve got you bag-stuffers covered too:

A quick and easy Christmas Halloween costume


A big bag. Some tissue paper. We could seriously not make this any easier for you.

But if easier is what you require. Just take out your Retro Festive Leg Lamp Costume and throw that on!

A leg-lamp costume for all occasions

It’s not just for everyday-wear anymore! Utilize it and wear it as a costume!

So there you have it. Four wonderfully festive costumes for you to bust out in time for tomorrow! Happy Halloween and Merry Almost Christmas!


Born in Canada: The Ugly Christmas Sweater Party

It’s hard to say who invented the garment affectionately known as the Ugly Christmas Sweater. Moms, school teachers and Bill Cosby have been sporting festive knitwear for decades. But when did Christmas Sweaters as a fashion choice make the jump from sincere to ironic?

You might be surprised to learn that the worldwide phenomenon began with two friends from Vancouver, Canada. Chris Boyd and Jordan Birch claim to have invented the concept of an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party back in 2002, when they held their first-annual tongue-in-cheek holiday party in their living room for a handful of their pals.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Guests
Ugly Christmas Sweater party guests at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom.

The pair enlisted another friend, Scott Lindsay, to help plan the ultimate Christmas party, complete with candy canes, eggnog, Christmas carols, decorations and – you guessed it – tacky holiday sweaters!

By 2005, the party had outgrown their Coquitlam B.C. living room and was moved to a larger venue, attracting more than 400 people. Finally, in 2006 the celebration made its final move to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom. It has remained there ever since, becoming an annual tradition for sell-out crowds. In fact, the original Ugly Sweater Party is widely considered the city’s hottest holiday event.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Founders
Chris Boyd (left) and Jordan Birch (right) in a 2012 photo by Metro News.

Best of all, the Party and spin-off initiatives have raised a ton of money for non-profit organizations such as The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Birch and Boyd are proud of their legacy and what worldwide phenomenon they helped create.  They promote the motto: Be Ugly. Do Good. Connect. Give. Reconnect and Be Kind.

The ugly friends have even launched a National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day (the Friday before Christmas) and an Ugly Sweater 5K/10K run in both Vancouver and Toronto.


Emporium of Ugly Christmas Sweaters in Toronto / Oakville

Open every day til Christmas, starting Nov. 1st.  (See hours and directions, below)

If you’re in Toronto, the GTA or Southern Ontario and you’re in the market for an Ugly Christmas Sweater, then RetroFestive.ca in Oakville is the place to go!

Shop online or in-store every day til Christmas! RetroFestive has the largest selection of Ugly Christmas Sweaters in Canada. Plus Ugly Christmas Sweater Party decorations and supplies, garish jewelry and gaudy accessories. You’ll feel like a kid at Christmas!

E! Canada Visits Ugly Christmas Sweater Store in Oakville
Tyrone T-Rex Edwards and E! Canada explore the Ugly Sweater selection at RetroFestive.ca in Oakville. We gave them the scoop on why people go crazy for Ugly Christmas Sweaters!


Monday – Sunday: 9:00am – 5:00pm


1100 Invicta Drive, Unit #1, Oakville, ON, L6H 2K9