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Christmas + Halloween = Christween!

We sure love Christmas here at RetroFestive, but darnit we love Halloween too!  Halloween is practically pre-Christmas. It’s the holiday that gets you ready for the big one. In fact, Christmas and Halloween have a lot more in common than you might think.

Fun Fact: Enthusiasts who love both Halloween and Christmas have invented a mashup holiday called Christween!

He knows when you are sleeping...
He knows when you are sleeping…

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5 Christmas Tattoos You Wish You Had

It’s a tale as old as time. You’re a young, anti-establishment, counter-culture creative with a penchant for progressive politics and edgy ink.

But something’s missing.

On the outside people see your effortless independent, urban fashion sensibilities and appreciation of Bukowski. But on the inside you’re bursting with Christmas Spirit.

Looking cool and loving Christmas don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The following are examples of fun Christmas tattoos that will get any Grinch into the holiday mood!

Rudolph Tattoo
Punk Ass Rudolph

The original Christmas outsider, Rudolph fights against the ignorant attitudes and misconceptions against red-noses. Make no mistake, Rudolph is Punk.

Rock Around this Christmas Tree Tattoo
Christmas Tree Tat

The classic Christmas tree shows a rejection of modern comforts and vapid yuppie lifestyle. When it comes to Christmas, no plastic pine will do. This tattoo shows that you’re a strong individual who uphold traditional and retro Christmas values.

Leg Lamp Tattoos
A leg lamp on your leg? How clever!

Celebrate Christmas all year round with the soft glow of electric sex! This tattoo depicting the iconic prop in A Christmas Story will radiate your pop art, cult kitsch and denial of mainstream ethnocentric ideals of beauty.

Existential Snowman Tattoo
What does it all mean?

Staring into the snowball of a meaningless and absurd world, this snowman’s thoughts grapple with the sublime question of existence and essence. Christmas… What does it all mean?

Nightmare Before Christmas Tattoo
These lovers explore the dark side of Christmas!

Nothing says cool like looking at Christmas through the eyes of Halloween. This tattoo depicting the nocturnal lovers in The Nightmare Before Christmas illustrates that even the happiest of holidays has a thrilling dark side.

Christmas Tattoos at RetroFestive
Can’t stomach getting inked? Try these instead!

But maybe you aren’t the type to show-off your Christmas spirit year round? Never fear, RetroFestive is here! Pick up this awesome pack of temporary Christmas Tattoos and show your off your tough sentimentality … temporarily!


Oakville Santa Claus Parade

Christmas On Parade!

If you remember much about the holiday classic A Christmas Story, you’ll recall the scene in which the Parker clan ventures downtown to watch the annual Christmas Parade. They snag a prime spot in front of Higbees Department Store and marvel at marching bands, garish floats, Santa Claus and even Mickey Mouse being pestered by the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz(?)!

Christmas parade kids
Christmas parade kids

For many of us, watching the annual home-town Christmas parade is part and parcel of our Christmas traditions.  That’s because Christmas parades serve to usher in the excitement of the holiday season.

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Back in Black: Who was the Real Black Bart

Remember the dream sequence in A Christmas Story when Ralphie has visions of saving his family from Black Bart? It’s a nod to the kind of 1940′s-era characters that would have pervaded young Ralphie’s imagination.

But in reality, Black Bart wasn’t just some fictional desperado.  In actual fact, the character originated in an 1870s dime novel that was loosely based on a true story. The writer called his main character Bartholomew Graham who took the name of “Black Bart” because he wore black clothes, had black long curly hair and a dense black beard. And Black Bart had real-life inspiration.

Charles Bowles was born in England around 1830 and immigrated to New York a few years later with his family.  Shortly after entering adulthood, young Charles Bowles had his name changed to Charles Boles and, in 1849, he set off for California with a cousin to find gold. Like countless others, they failed to strike it rich and returned home a few years later.  But, undaunted, Charley Boles set out to find gold again with his cousin and his brother. Once again they failed, and both his brother cousin both perished after falling ill.

Eventually, Charley returned again, fell in love, and was married. Later, he spent some time in the Union Army and then went west to Montana where he set up a mining site that was dependent on water. His claim attracted the attention of some men from Wells Fargo who wanted to buy his claim.  When Boles refused, they cut off the supply of water and Charley was forced to abandon the mine. In a letter to his wife he wrote, “I am going to take steps.” She wasn’t quite sure what that meant.

But it wasn’t long until a series of daring robberies began, in which Wells Fargo stage coaches were hijacked and robbed of their money and valuables.  The robberies began in 1875 and each time a poem was left behind, hinting that the perpetrator would strike again. They were signed “Black Bart”.

Throughout the late 1870s and early 1880s, Bart robbed Wells Fargo stage coaches many times.  He wore a flour sack on his head and never fired a shot, though on a few occasions, shots were fired at him. There was never any mayhem or extreme violence.