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Tag Archives: Christmas Vacation

Castle Noel

There are few places in North America that are close to a Christmas paradise, that is until you hop on the Polar Express for a trip to the North Pole! One is RetroFestive in Oakville, Ontario, the second is Santa’s Village in Bracebridge, Ontario, and the other is Castle Noel in Medina, Ohio.

Castle Noel is America’s largest indoor, year-round Christmas entertainment attraction. After years of admiration, we recently visited for the first time on a family trip to the A Christmas Story House in Cleveland, Ohio, which is the perfect double whammy for any Christmas movie fan!

Castle Noel is where we got to see Cousin Eddie’s RV from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation in person – and we felt like a kid at Christmas!

Cousin Eddie's RV at Castle Noel
Merry Christmas! Shitter was full!
2019 at Castle Noel
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The Best Christmas Specials of Modern TV Past

December is a magical time for TV. Television shows take a break until the new year, but before they do – it’s time for Christmas specials! As we have mentioned before, the 90s was full of awesome sitcoms, but hilarious Christmas gems are still being produced by our favourite shows in modern times. We have picked some memorable Christmas episodes from the best comedy shows from the past decade (give or take a couple years)!

The Office: Christmas Party
Over their nine seasons The Office had some fantastic Christmas specials but our favourite is Christmas Party. In this episode Michael Scott turns the $20 limit on Secret Santa on it’s head when he buys Ryan an iPod. When Michael receives a homemade gift from Phyllis, he turns declares Secret Santa is now Yankee Swap, which causes some Christmas chaos.

Yankee Swap

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Jelly and Jam Recipes

Since 2007 Retro Festive has been Canada’s original supplier of all things Griswold. We started with moose mugs and Griswold Family Christmas gear, and are now proud to introduce the Jelly of the Month Club gift set, inspired by the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

I was expecting a check. Instead I got enrolled in a jelly club!” – Clark Griswold

Family gift guide

The Jelly of the Month Club gift set is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year with 12 jars of jellies and jams made by Greaves Jams and Marmalades in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The gift set is exclusively available in Canada and includes a monthly checklist with space for tasting notes, and a festive Jelly of the Month Club certificate.

But what do you do with your jam besides toast, crumpets and PB&J sandwiches? Here are some jelly and jam recipes to try out the whole year!

Jam Muffins
Muffins are a great snack on the go, a wonderful addition to a potluck brunch, and a nice pick-me-up with your coffee. This versatile recipe for Jam Muffins will be a lovely way to highlight all of the jam and jelly flavours.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies
Instead of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, try Michael Smith’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Cookies! You can use any kind of jelly you’d like and personalize each one.

jelly cookies

 

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Drumsticks
If you like strong yet balanced flavours, try these delicious Sweet and Spicy Chicken Drumstick recipe that uses a little strawberry jam to balance the heat of the hot sauce.

Vinarterta
The Traditional Icelandic cake Vinarterta can also be made with any kind of jam, but purists will tell you it must be prune jam. This layered treat is a great addition to any party spread.

We also like using different jellies and jam in plain yogurt with our breakfast all year long!

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Family Gift Guide

Here at RetroFestive.ca, we are very proud to offer a wide variety of nostalgic gift ideas. Whether it is a gag gift for Secret Santa at work, or something sweet for your Grandparents, we truly offer something for everyone on your Christmas list.

Here is an A&W burger-style family gift guide to help with shopping this season!

Baby
Family gift guide

Everyone know that babies are the cutest, but for some reason they do not remember the gifts they receive during their first Christmas. But if they are wearing a cute Santa Baby outfit, there will be lots of family photos to keep the memory alive for years to come.

 

 

 

 

 

Mama
Inspired by National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The Jelly of the Month Club gift set is the gift that keeps on giving the whole year with 12 jars of delicious jellies and jams made by Greaves Jams and Marmalades in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.

Family gift guide

 

 Papa
Your papa will look pretty sharp this season when you give him a Toronto Blue Jays Ugly Sport Jacket, or Winter Wonderland Ugly Christmas Suit!

Teen
Wondering what the shell to get your teen? Well, it’s a historical fact the coolest teenagers that ever lived are the Ninja Turtles. Give your teen this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mug and they’ll think you’re totally tubular, dude!

Grandpa
When the kids, and grandkids, are all grown up and out of the house it gives grandparents more time for their hobbies. This Santa’s New Sleigh is a Harley is a great trinket for those who live to ride!

family gift guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uncle
Just like Cousin Eddie, it’s the Uncles in the family that are the jokesters, the clowns, the ones . . . that say something in appropriate at dinner. Consider giving them the “Your Mom Likes My Package” long sleeved tee,  a Jumbo Bacon Flavoured Candy Cane, or a “Merry Christmas – Shitter Was Full” ugly Christmas sweater to suit their sense of humour.

Buddy
Your bestie will love this Buddy the Elf mug,  and these Turtle Dove Friendship Ornaments from Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

“Turtle doves are a symbol of friendship and love. Keep one, and give the other to a very special person. As long as each of you has your turtle dove, you will be friends forever.”

Double Buddy
If they really are your best buddy, they won’t mind sharing a sweater with you. Get cozy in the 2-person Christmas sweater!

family gift guide

 

If these ideas don’t work, just offer to take the whole family out to eat to the Chop Suey Palace like The Parkers, or Denny’s like The Calvins!

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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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