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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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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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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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Social Media Gift Guide

Although we are all mourning Vine, and remember the five seconds that Ello was cool, there are some people on our Christmas lists who know and love social media more than life itself. They Tweet, they Snap, they Pin – they do it all!

But what do you get for your friend, who has seen it all (online anyway)? Here are five savvy social media gift ideas:

Punctuation Ornaments

punctuation ornaments

Sometimes it can be difficult to get your message across in 140 characters and still be grammatically correct. These punctuation ornaments add some much needed structure to tree trimming and are approved by the grammar police!

 

 

 

 

#SorryNotSorry Santa
Maybe your friend had too much eggnog at the office Christmas party, or used a bit too many swear words in their latest Facebook status. Either way, this t-shirt will let everyone know the score!

Hashtag Ornament
#omg #noway #Blessed This ornament says it all. But Twitter followers not included.

Adult Mad Libs
A good social media manager knows that great ideas come from interactive brainstorming sessions. Give your colleague a copy of Adult Mad Lib to get those creative juices flowing!

Santa Unfriended Me Coffee Mug

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If your friend has made their way onto the naughty list, maybe it’s best to tell them with a mug full of egg nog . . . this mug full of egg nog.

Speaking of social media, follow us @RetroFestive on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

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Christmas Board Games – Quality Family Time

In December of 2013, parts of Canada and the United States experienced a brutal ice storm that caused a massive power outage. My house was without power from Saturday evening to Tuesday morning, which is lucky because some Torontonians were without power for up to two weeks.

Christmas board gameWe tried to make the most of our time without heat, hydro and Netflix by playing Christmas board games by candlelight. My husband and I play A Christmas Story Yahtzee every Sunday, while listening to CBC Music’s Country Classics stream, so it was an easy transition. We invited friends over to play games too, not just for the company, but for the extra body heat.

Christmas board gameOnce the lights come back on, Christmastime is still a great opportunity to play board games. Luckily, companies like Hasbro have combined the love of Christmas, with the love of board games with themes for classic games such as Nightmare Before Christmas Trivial Pursuit, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Operation, and A Christmas Story Monopoly.

If your family is a bit more competitive, you might want to play card games like euchre, poker, or rummy. You can still add of a dash of Christmas with playing cards featuring Peanuts, Christmas Vacation, Elf and Coca-Cola Santa.

Christmas board gameSometimes there are family members who are too young to play a full Christmas board game, but they can help trim the tree with Hasbro ornaments with Candy Land, Twister, Operation, and Monopoly.

 

So let the Christmas board games begin! May the best family man win!

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