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70th Anniversary of It’s a Wonderful Life

When I was growing up I thought I would dislike all black and white movies because I assumed they were boring or about old timey things I wouldn’t understand. Eventually my mind was changed because each year CTV would play It’s a Wonderful Life on Christmas Eve.

It’s a Wonderful Life will celebrate it’s 70th Anniversary this Christmas, having been originally released on December 20, 1946. Despite being a black and white movie, it is now my #1 favourite film of all time.

After watching it year after year I can almost recite the film from memory. In honour of this anniversary, here are some of my favourite things about It’s a Wonderful Life:

1) Violet Bick

I am sure Violet Bick would be considered a real floozy in 1946, I have always considered her a real role model.

George Bailey: Hello, Violet. Hey, you look good, that’s some dress you got on there. 

 

2) The Honeymoon

After giving away all of the money they saved in order to save Bailey Building and Loan, George and Mary are forced to have a honeymoon at home. Their friends Bert the cop and Ernie the taxi driver work hard to make it romantic, even singing I Love You Truly outside the window of the Old Granville House.

3) When Clarence orders a drink

As I previously wrote in this Mulled Wine recipe post, one of my favourite moments is when George Bailey brings his guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody to Nick’s. Clarence orders a flaming rum punch, but quickly changes his mind to mulled wine with very specific ingredients. This is when Nick loses his patience:

Nick: Hey look, mister. We serve hard drinks in here for men who want to get drunk fast, and we don’t need any characters around to give the joint “atmosphere”.

4) George Freaks Out

This is one of the hardest scenes in the film to watch because it is when all of George Bailey’s responsibilities and stresses catch up to him. He comes home to his family, who unintentionally press his buttons until he snaps. HOWEVER, throughout this tense scene, George says something that makes me laugh every time:

Mary: George, what’s wrong?
George: Wrong? Everything. Why, you call this a happy family? Why do we have to have all these kids?

5) Clarence Gets His Wings

After Clarence gives George a glimpse into what the world would be like if he had never been born, George sees he really does have a wonderful life. This earns Clarence his angel wings! George discovers this through an inscription Clarence leaves him in a copy of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. When his daughter Zuzu hears a Christmas bell ornament on the tree chime, she says:
Zuzu: Look, Daddy. Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.
George: That’s right, that’s right.
(He looks up toward the ceiling and winks.)
Attaboy, Clarence.

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Practical gift giving

By Liisa St-Aubin

When it comes to gift giving, we all have that one family member that likes to throw a few caveats into the mix. Whether it be simple practicality or ratio of bedazzlement, it can be hard to stay within their parameters.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the traditional Christmas gift box.

Jelly of the Month
What can be more practical than feeding a loved one for a full year? Bonus: it comes with a monthly checklist where they can jot down notes about the taste and what they like about each jelly. Win, win!
jelly

Weeping Angel Tree Topper
For the perfect balance between traditional tree topper and an object of bowtie-quivering fear, you’ve got to go with the Doctor Who Weeping Angel Tree Topper. Why have a tree if no one looks at it, right? This will keep them staring…forever. Just Remember: Don’t blink. Don’t even blink.
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Friendship Doves
Who doesn’t want to have a friend for life? Next!
friends

Christmas Toilet Paper
Give the only practical gift this Christmas that will help with the clean up…and because everyone forgets to decorate the bathroom. Also, if your neighbour is being a Grinch, why not spread some holiday cheer and TP the heck out of their house!
tp-neighbours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Handmade Holiday Cards
Save them from having to do the work of making cards next Christmas (or this one if you gift it to them early enough). Or, you know what? Just write them a sweet message and send them a homemade card in the mail. Everyone loves snail mail. Plus, these come in a big enough bundle you can check 24 people off your list at once.
xfjnxra

 

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Frosty the Snowman – Then and Now

For anyone who loves Christmas and has a television – Christmas movies and TV specials are a must! It was a tradition with my family to decorate the tree and watch a whole slew of holiday specials. My favourites were Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone; as I got a bit older, The Santa Clause and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; and in recent years, I added Elf to that list. However, Frosty the Snowman was not a part of the catalog.

Don’t get me wrong; I’d still watch it. Frosty was often in the middle of a Christmas Special marathon, sandwiched between Rudolph and the Grinch. But as I got older, I’d start leaving the living room for a half hour to help in the kitchen, or quite literally, just sit in my room doing nothing until it was over.

Sounds terrible, right? It was! I was a kid – I didn’t know any better!

It was only in the past few years that I decided to revisit this Christmas classic . . . and what was little me thinking?! It’s great! That’s why I decided to pull together my new favourite quotes from Frosty the Snowman!

Here are my Top Five quotes (that I should have appreciated more 20 years ago) from Frosty the Snowman:

#5

Professor Hinkle: I must get that hat back! Think nasty, think nasty, think nasty!

“Think nasty!” What a great motto for a bad guy!

#4:

Frosty: Are you coming to the North Pole, too?
Karen: I’m sure my mother won’t mind, as long as I’m home in time for supper.

My mom has the same rule for me.

#3:

Frosty: I mean – I can make words. I can move… I can juggle… I can sweep… and I can count to ten. One, two, three, four, five, nine, six, eight… Well, I can count to five.

That’s just cute. Counting is hard! Especially when you have a different number of fingers on each hand.

#2:

Professor Hinkle: We evil magicians have to make a living, too.

Just straight up facts.

#1:

Frosty: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

So there you have it! My Top Five (new) favourite quotes from Frosty the Snowman. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to head over to Retro Festive and show my love for all things Frosty!

 

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The Great Debate: Real vs Fake Trees

Real versus fake. Fake versus real. Where do you stand on this highly debated issue? Let this super, incredibly scientific blog post about Christmas Trees in Canada help you in The Great Debate: Real vs. Fake Trees.

Everyone at Retro Festive lands on different sides of this potentially friendship-ending argument. So let’s make a case for both and see which is the true winner.

ROUND 1: THE SMELL

Case for real:

Nothing beats the smell of coming home after a long day of work in December to the smell of a real Christmas tree, like the true Canadian balsam fir. It makes all your worries go away!

Case for fake:

“Christmas tree smell” can now be bought.

And The Winner Is… Real Trees!

Aerosol tree smells just don’t cut it. And a scented candle doesn’t pre-light, so you can’t come home to that beautiful smell.

 ROUND 2: THE TOUCH

Case for real:

A real Christmas tree incorporates all the senses. We’ve outlined the smell, but you can’t buy the feel of a real tree.

Case for fake:

You also can’t prick yourself on fake pine needles.

And The Winner Is… Fake Trees!

A fake tree won’t assault you while you decorate it with Christmas kitsch, or contain attacking squirrels. It also doesn’t drop needles to conveniently pierce your heels.

ROUND 3: THE CLEAN-UP

Case for real:

Throw it on the curb and don’t think about it for a year!

Case for fake:

Throw it in a box and don’t think about it for a year!

 

And The Winner Is… NO ONE!

We all know the fake will never fit back in the box the way it once did, and the real will drop every needle to spite you.

After three tough rounds with Real trees taking an early lead, but Fake trees catching up quick, we are now at a score of:

REAL: 1

FAKE: 1 

With only one round left, who will take the title?! It all comes down to:

 ROUND 4: THE ICONIC CHRISTMAS TREE

Case for real:

There’s nothing that warms the heart quite as much as when Linus says, “I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love,” when he talks about the celebrated Charlie Brown Christmas tree and reminds us of the true meaning of Christmas

Case for fake:

You can always have a fake tree at home, and see a real Christmas tree in the town square. People travel from around the globe to watch the ceremonial lighting of the legendary Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, making it not just a part of New York, but a part of the world.

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And the winner is…EVERYONE!

We all win this round. There are countless iconic Christmas trees for both sides.

So there you have it, folks! We’re back where we started. It’s your Christmas and your tree. Pick what suits YOU!

So whether you like to cut down your own Christmas tree or purchase a fun fake one, the choice helps make your Christmas your own!

But let us know – which side do you land on in The Great Debate?

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