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Tag Archives: A Christmas Story

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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Grand Opening Celebration Party

Join us for our Grand Opening Celebration Party on Saturday, November 2, 2019! See what is new in store, grab some Christmas cake, cookies, and hot cider. And the REAL Santa will be stopping by to meet all in attendance!

Chippawa Fire Truck Christmas Story
The original fire truck that was used in “A Christmas Story”, a 1938 Ford La France pump truck, gives movie fans a ride around the Tremont neighborhood on Friday, Nov. 28, 2008 in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/The Plain Dealer, Lisa DeJong)
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A Christmas Story Live Cast Favourites

When FOX announced it was going to produce A Christmas Story Live, we were very excited. We were even more excited when they announced it will be inspired by the original 1983 movie and A Christmas Story: The Musical, which opened on Broadway in 2012. And we couldn’t believe when they revealed the cast would include Matthew Broderick, Ana Gasteyer, and Ken Jeong!

A Christmas Story Live

A Christmas Story, which was filmed in various Ontario locations, is widely considered one of the best Christmas films of all time! Ty the Christmas guy even wrote a book about it! A Christmas Story Treasury tells the story behind the film’s unlikely success and reveals it’s humble Canadian beginnings.

As the Canadian authority of all things A Christmas Story, we have been counting the days until A Christmas Story Live! finally airs on FOX and on City in Canada.

We thought this would be the perfect time to look back on our favourite roles from the stars from A Christmas Story Live!

Maya Rudolph (playing Mother Parker)
Her time at Saturday Night Live produced some of the best sketch comedy ever, but our absolute favourite is, of course, Bridesmaids! That scene in the dress shop is unforgettable!

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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!


I Heart XMAS with Liam Nixon

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!

Liam Nixon
Global Lethbridge Anchor/Producer/Newsroom Manager

Liam Nixon


What is your favourite Christmas movie or TV special? 

It definitely has to be ‘A Christmas Story’.  Haven’t we all experienced a ‘Ralphie moment’ where we’re all bundled up to head outside in the cold… only to realize we really have to pee?  Or maybe I’m alone in that…

Does your family have a special or quirky Christmas tradition?
My mom used to make Tourtière, a delicious French-Canadian meat pie.  We also used to open our presents one at a time with up to 15 people in the house. Needless to say the first time it took over ten hours to get them all opened, that tradition was quickly and emphatically voted down.

Which do you prefer: to give or receive?
I feel as though I SHOULD say ‘give’, but really, who doesn’t like ripping into a gift?!  However, seeing the look on someone else’s face when they open that perfect gift from you is pretty special. Can we call it a tie?

Which Peanuts character do you think your friends and family would say reminds them of you?
Definitely Linus, minus the need for a security blanket.



Ugly Christmas Sweaters: Not a Chance – or – The Uglier the Better?
I’m all about the ugly. The inclusion of blinking Christmas lights on the sweater earns bonus points.

What do you want Santa to bring you this year?
With 15-month old twins, an extra set of hands and three-day weekends would be pretty great. But, since neither of those is overly realistic, just the continued health and happiness of my family and friends.