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Tag Archives: Rudolph

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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Rankin Bass Holiday Specials

By Desiree D’Lima

For me Christmas always begins when Rankin Bass holiday specials begin airing on television. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,  Frosty The Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, The Little Drummer Boy and of course The Year Without a Santa Claus (Snow Miser and Heat Miser!), they are Christmas. I love the magic of the cartoons and stop motion animation. I used to think it could only be used at Christmas time, that was it’s magic.

I’m of the age where you anxiously waited for holiday specials to come on TV. Or when there were VCR’s it felt weird to record Christmas specials but if you did you taped over them with Days of Our Lives after the holidays.

It doesn’t feel like Christmas if I don’t see at least one of these beauties.

I love introducing my friend’s kids, my munchkins, to these shows now. I love seeing the sparkle in their eyes as Rudolph’s nose glows so bright, or Frosty runs here and there and everywhere, or Kris Kringle becoming Santa.

The smile on my face was from ear to ear when I first saw Rankin Bass ornaments and costumes and hat and lights at Retro Festive. I know that bringing in these iconic images into your home is just as special as being 8 years old sitting on the floor in front of the TV with a mug of hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows.

Here are some of my favourite picks!

Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer

Rudolph The Red Nose Reindeer airs on CBC on December 13, 2016 at 8pm and December  23, 2016 at 7pm and on YTV on December 20, 2016 at 6pm

 

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Santa Claus is Coming to Town will air on CBC on December 18, 2016 at 8pm and December 22, 2016 at 7pm; and on YTV on December 22, 2016 at 6pm

 

Frosty the Snowman

Frosty The Snowman airs on CBC on December 20, 2016 at 7pm and December 25, 2016 at 1pm

 

The Year Without Santa Claus

The Year Without Santa Claus airs on YTV December 6, 2016 at 6pm

 

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New Christmas Specials – Classics in the Making

December is a wonderful time of year because that’s when we can all gather around the TV to watch classic Christmas specials and movies like Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, Home Alone, or The Year Without a Santa Claus.

Movie and TV studios hope for a Christmas miracle when they produce new specials around the holidays. Sometimes they are smashing successes like Elf, and sometimes they are a little forgettable like Frosty Returns.

New Christmas Specials

 

We have been trying to keep up the new Christmas specials that have been released this year. Before you watch them, here are our reviews!

Warning: Spoiler Alerts, probably
Reviews by Damien Nelson and Danielle LaSage

A Very Murray Christmas

Netflix has been creating amazing original work for years, so it was inevitable that they would make a new Christmas special too. But who knew they would recruit the likes of Bill Murray?

This Christmas special follows Bill Murray as he is about to begin a holiday show at The Carlyle, on live television, during the biggest snowstorm of the season. When the weather keeps Bill’s celebrity friends away, Bill is forced to cancel his show and create a party with the other guests trapped in the hotel.

This is where the storyline ends. Although A Very Murray Christmas begins like a movie, it is essentially a classic celebrity variety show. It features comedy sketches, dozens of surprise cameos, and lots of lovely songs.

It is a hilarious Christmas special, and I think it will age well in the coming years because Bill Murray’s humour is timeless and much loved. The cameos alone are worth the watch! Honestly, do not stop watching until you see Clooney.

I give it 10 Celebrity Cameos out of 12.
The bottom line:
Miley Cyrus cannot lip sync. This is actually a good thing!

 

The Peanuts Movie

I have to admit I was nervous about The Peanuts Movie. After all these years, why mess with a good thing? But I was pleasantly surprised.

The Peanuts Movie is not technically a Christmas special. The film actually follows the Peanuts gang over the course of a school year, so it features many holidays including Christmas.

The script is simple and sweet, and revisits many classic characters without being tedious. The animation is pleasing to the eye, and the voice work is lovely. The only bone I have to pick with this film is that it relied on old one-liners and storylines from other Peanuts specials, instead of creating new adventures for the Gang.

I give it 6 Red Barons out of 10.
The bottom line: It is a joyful little film that die-hard Peanuts fans will enjoy no matter what.

 

Krampus

For those in search of a new type of Christmas story…look no further! It seems that the once obscure holiday knowledge of Krampus is becoming more and more commonplace.

When his dysfunctional family clashes over the holidays, young Max is disillusioned and turns his back on Christmas. Little does he know, this lack of festive spirit has unleashed the wrath of Krampus: a demonic force of ancient evil intent on punishing non-believers. All hell breaks loose as beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own, laying siege to the fractured family’s home and forcing them to fight for each other if they hope to survive.

Well, if that doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, I don’t know what will.

Krampus was co-written and directed by Michael Dougherty, which fits perfectly, as he is probably best known for the film Trick R Treat. Dougherty accomplishes a film that is effectively frightening, and comically amusing when it needs to be. And with a cast featuring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Allison Tolman and David Koechner, you’re bound for nothing short of entertaining. The whole cast dances the line of comedy and drama so gracefully; it makes for a very enjoyable flick.

I would not recommend this movie for children … unless you really want to keep them in line; in which case, make it a family holiday tradition!

I give it 5 Candy Canes out of 8.
The bottom line: This is a seriously fun flick. If you enjoy horror and enjoy the holiday season – this is not one to miss!

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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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Festive Mug Recipes

After a long day of Christmas shopping and gift wrapping, sometimes the best thing is a freshly baked treat like cookies, cake, or a little something savoury. But it’s already 9 o’clock, and the kitchen is a mess, so there is no chance of traditional baking.

Good news! Why not throw some simple ingredients into a mug, zap them in the microwave and enjoy? We have complied some awesome and easy mug recipes to match our most festive mugs this season.

Gingerbread Mug Cake

festive mug recipesThe good people at JustPutzing.com have a wonderful recipe for Gingerbread Mug Cake that takes no time at all, and will taste great in our ceramic “Bite Me – Gingerbread Man” coffee mug.

 

Mixed Berry Crisp

mug recipesHave a very Beary, or uh, Berry Christmas with this recipe for a Mixed Berry Crisp from the Food Network, in our Beary X-Mas mug. With just seven ingredients, and two minutes in the microwave, it’s like a bear hug for your taste buds.

 

 

Maple Syrup Pancakes in a Mug

elf mug recipesIf you are like Buddy the Elf and carry maple syrup with you wherever you go, then this recipe is for you. You can make this recipe in our “I’m a Human but I was raised by Elves” mug for a quick breakfast, or a sweet snack.

 

 

Pizza in a Mug

If your older brother Buzz ate all of the cheese pizza, you can quickly make your own in your Home Alone mug. Watch the video from Simple Cooking Channel to find out how!

 

1-Minute Dark Chocolate Mug Cake For 2

Star Wars mug recipesIf you like your chocolate a little on the dark side, then this Star Wars Imperial mug will be perfect for Frugal Edmonton Mama’s One-Minute Dark Chocolate Mug Cake recipe.

Never underestimate the power of dark chocolate!

 

Garlic Biscuits in a Mug

mug recipesThe Grinch has garlic in his soul, but Garlic Biscuits are good soul food. These biscuits are gluten free, low on carbs and take less than ten minutes to make. Fair warning: there will only be crumbs left in the house, crumbs even too small for a mouse!

 

Microwave Peanut Butter Swirl Brownie

We were inspired to put this Peanut Butter recipe in this Rudolph mug by one of our favourite moments in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer:
Yukon Cornelius: This fog’s as thick as peanut butter!
Hermey: You mean pea soup.
Yukon Cornelius: You eat what you like, and I’ll eat what I like!

mug recipes
But don’t worry you can warm up some pea soup in the Rudolph mug too, we don’t judge!

You can find these, and other Christmas mugs here: www.retrofestive.ca/mugs-glassware

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