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I Heart XMas with Jenna Mo

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!

Today we’re talking to Jenna Mo from Mornings with Jesse & Jenna on JUMP! 106.9 in Ottawa, Ontario. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Mornings with Jesse & Jenna
Mornings with Jesse & Jenna

 

Does your family have a special or quirky Christmas tradition?
For as long as I can remember, my family has always had a real Christmas tree, but it’s not the most beautiful one on the lot. Every year we go and pick out the ugliest ‘Charlie Brown’ tree so that it can also have a nice home during the holidays.

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Christmas Memories

By: Liisa St-Aubin

We all have Christmas memories from days gone by that transport us right back to specific moments in time. From the smell of the fireplace to the taste of pie, I have many merry memories! Luckily, I was able to find some treasures to help keep my memories alive each Christmas season.

My Grandma’s Ceramic Christmas tree
My siblings and I always loved Grandma’s ceramic tree. We would take turns moving around the colourful pegs coming up with different patterns to suit our moods. The best part was the star that, if removed, would create a cool vortex of light that shot right out the top!

7" Ceramic Light-Up Christmas Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I Heart XMas with Jack Sweeney

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!

Today we’re talking to Jack Sweeney from CISN in the Mornings with Chris, Jack, and Matt on  CISN Country 103.9 in Edmonton, Alberta. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

CISN in the Mornings
CISN in the Mornings with Chris, Jack, and Matt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is your favorite Christmas movie or TV special?
The Nightmare Before Christmas! Some say it’s a Halloween movie, but in the Sweeney house, it only comes out at Christmas Time!

Does your family have a special or quirky Christmas tradition?
We are just starting our traditions (my husband and I have a one year old), but I remember growing up Santa would always write me a letter and leave it on our fireplace so I could read it Christmas morning. It always amazed me that he knew such specific details about my life from the past year. He really is always watching!

Which do you prefer: to give or receive?
I love to give. Especially when you have looked far and wide for that perfect gift for someone. I get so excited to see the look on their faces when they open that gift and it’s tailored to them!  

Do you do your Christmas shopping early or leave it to the last minute?
I’m an early shopper! I can’t help it! It gets so crazy at Christmas time. I know I have to have my shopping done by the middle of December or it doesn’t have a hope!

In which city do you watch your local Santa Claus parade?
We watch in Edmonton, Alberta.

Do you still send Christmas cards?
YES! I do believe it’s a dying tradition, but I love it. Nothing beats writing a short special message to those that you love. Plus, I’m a mail geek.

Which do you prefer: real or fake Christmas trees?
I’ve always had a fake Christmas tree but this is the very first year my husband Bobby has convinced me to get a real one. He says we will never go back….we will see.

Do you consider yourself good at wrapping presents?
Yes! I’m a nerd that gets all into it with a matching ribbon and bow too. I usually set aside one night to wrap all the gifts and it is hours of mayhem and mess and sparkles. Ha!

Ugly Christmas Sweaters: Not a Chance – or – The Uglier the Better?
I like “Cute” ugly Christmas sweaters. If they light up it’s even better!

What do you want Santa to bring you this year?
I would love a weekend away in the mountains with my family. We are lucky in Edmonton that we are only four hours away. My husband works out of town so when he is home, we often are visiting family and friends. But, a weekend to the mountains just us three would be lovely.

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CISN COUNTRY 103.9 has an incredible Christmas Initiative called “Christmas Wish“. Listeners submit their wishes to CISN and quite often they grant them! It can be as simple as a Spa Day to thank mom for all that she does, or as specific as a new roof for someone that cannot afford one. Just last week, they granted a wish for a man to see his brother who he had not seen in 20 years (his brother was very sick). You can enter your wish at www.cisnfm.com

 

 

 

 

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Five Favourites at the Toronto Christmas Market

Now in it’s eighth year, the Toronto Christmas Market has become a treasured annual tradition for Torontonians and visitors from across Ontario and the United States. We have had a booth at the Toronto Christmas Market each year since it began, and have watched this wonderful event grow each year.

The Toronto Christmas Market returns to the Distillery District November 16 – December 23, 2017! Since we have spent so much time there, we thought we should share our favourite things about the Toronto Christmas Market!

The Massive Christmas Tree

Each year Forests Ontario and Ontario Wood find the perfect Christmas tree for the Distillery District. It stands tall and proud over the Market, and becomes the backdrop for millions of selfies on Instagram.

Toronto Christmas Market tree
Toronto Christmas Market Massive Christmas Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

its_a_wonderful_life_autograhed_photo_karolyn_grimes__06594-1447202820-1280-1280

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