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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.


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






Secret Santa Quirky Gift Guide

The Christmas party season is getting closer by the minute, which means Secret Santa at the office. But what should you get that special someone picked from the hat? And by special we mean that weird someone, that odd someone, that tough-to-buy-for someone. Your boss already has two of everything, or you pulled the name of the Sci-Fi geek you barely speak to. What’s a person to do? Don’t worry, Retro Festive has you covered.

Here is our list of 12 awesome, unique and quirky gift ideas that will make their strange hearts grow at least three sizes bigger! – Written by Maddie Bisson

The HR Cat Lady
Kitty Christmas Carol Clock – Musical!

Quirky Gift


We all know someone who loves cats. A lot. So much that a musical cat clock would be totally acceptable in her cat filled office.




The Social Media Addict—I mean Specialist
Selfie Elfie
Hashtag Christmas Tree Ornament

quirky gift

quirky gift





#OMG #SelfieWithAnElfie #SoCute #TheresAnElfOnMyShoulder #IHeartChristmas Or… Blow up their phone with a ##ornament.



The IT Jedi
Stormtrooper Nutcracker

 quirky gift

If you didn’t camp outside with them before the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, you better redeem yourself.




The Die Hard Leafs Fan
NHL Ugly Christmas Sweater

quirky gift

There’s one in every company! Through thick and thin (mostly thick) they stand by their team. It’s a perfect “something blue” to wear on game day (instead of that dirty old jersey!).



The (why aren’t you retired yet?) Secretary
Ugly Sweater Cookie Cutter Decorating Kit

 quirky gift

Ugly Sweaters have been all the rage for the past few years, and while the gaudy irony might be lost on her, she will enjoy making Ugly Sweater cookies for the office!



The Coffee Addicted Accountant
Tim Hortons China Mug Ornament

 quirky gift

Your accountant’s favourite formula: Work + Caffeine + Canadiana = TIM HORTONS!!!!!






The Meme Loving Colleagues
Grumpy Cat 8-Pack Holiday Note Cards

 quirky gift

Now you can finally wish your closest co-workers an awful holiday and a crappy New Year with Grumpy Cat’s signature frown.



The Hanukkah Harry
Happy Hanukkah- Ugly Holiday Sweater

 quirky gift

Christmas isn’t the only reason to rock an Ugly Sweater! Harry will be as happy as those dancing dreidels when he receives this from his Secret Santa!



The Overly Enthusiastic Intern
Smiling is My Favorite – Coffee Mug

 quirky gift

While drinking the World’s best/crappiest cup of coffee, your intern won’t be able to stop singing, “I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOUUU!”




The Potty Mouth Boss
Toilet Santa- Ugly Christmas Sweater

 quirky gift

Nothing will bring your boss more joy this holiday season than literally wearing a poop joke.





The Hostess with the Mostest CEO
Christmas Vacation Advent House Calendar

quirky gift

This will knock the Santa hats off her Holiday Party guests (and put you on the Nice List) with this show-stopping Griswold Advent House Calendar.




The Rival
Bag O’ Coal

 quirky gift

Make the most feared present in the world a reality for your nemesis. Revenge is a dish best served COAL.





Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store – Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a bit more!” Not in this case, Grinch!

These quirky gifts can be ordered at RetroFestive.ca, or picked up right before the Secret Santa gift exchange at Toronto’s Union Station Holiday.



Ugly Christmas Sweater Party Ideas

Since Retro Festive started in 2007 we have watched the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party craze, which began in Canada, grow exponentially. Everybody has a tacky knitted sweater that their Great Aunt Clara made for them, but over the years people have been eager to step up their gaudy game.

Each and every December Canadians receive invitations to numerous Ugly Christmas Sweater parties, so here are some tips to make your party the ugliest!

Ugly Sweater Party
Merry Christmas from the Walker Family in Vancouver!

When hosting an Ugly Christmas Sweater party, feel free to let the tackiness extend to your party decor too! Maybe an Ugly Sweater Banner to spruce up your living room, or an Ugly Sweater serving plate in the kitchen to display your famous Christmas cookies.

Years before the Ugly Sweater party became a pop culture phenomenon, popular musicians were writing odes to their fuzzy sweater friends. Warm up your playlist with sweater songs like:

Sweater Song” – Hedley
Undone – The Sweater Song” – Weezer
The Sweater” – Meryn Cadell
Striped Sweater Song” – SpongeBob SquarePants

Naughty and Nice sweaters
Naughty and Nice Ugly Christmas Sweaters for partners!


Matching sweaters are great conversation pieces at events with a lot of visual distractions, like Ugly Sweater parties. Group and couple costumes are always a big hit at Halloween, so borrow that idea by wearing a “Naughty” sweater at your party, while your partner wears a “Nice” sweater, or rival NHL Ugly Christmas Sweaters, to get people talking.

Many Ugly Christmas Sweater parties also have contests for the best (worst?) sweater. Another way to make your outfit unique would be to add a funky hat or headband to your head. Hopefully it doesn’t get too big when you win the grand prize!

As a host or hostess of the Ugly Christmas Sweater party, you should be prepared to bestow the winner of the evening with ribbons or trophies for The Best, Most Tacky, Ugliest Sweater in the Universe! That way the winner can brag about their win for years to come with a major award to prove it!

Ugly Christmas Sweater Party winner
Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties have winners and losers. Mostly losers.

Now that you have all of these tacky tips under your belt, go on – GET UGLY!


I Heart XMAS! with Rosey Edeh

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!

Rosey Edeh, Co-host and Weather Specialist of The Morning Show and Anchor, Global News at Noon

Rosey Edeh Christmas
Rosey Edeh will be co-hosting Toy Drive Live this year


Retro Festive: What is your favourite Christmas movie or TV special?
Rosey Edeh: My favorite TV Christmas special is Charlie Brown. The music by Vince Guaraldi is so smooth, so perfectly festive and that pitiful little tree! Linus puts his blanket around it, the gang shows it some love and voila! It looks amazing! Finally, Charlie Brown triumphs.

Does your family have a special or quirky Christmas tradition?
I don’t have any quirky family traditions, just eating Christmas dinner until we can barely move! Mom’s the best cook in the world! Seriously!

Which do you prefer: to give or receive?
I prefer to give. I am a serious shopper! I love a good bargain but love the hunt for that perfect gift even more.

Ugly Christmas Sweaters: Not a Chance – or – The Uglier the Better?
Ugly Christmas sweater? Does it come with a pair of black tights and a killer pair of pumps? If it does, bring on the ugly sweater!
Editor’s Note: For you Rosey – anything!

What do you want Santa to bring you this year?
Santa, please bring me skis and a handsome ski instructor! I’ve conquered the bunny hill and the double black diamond is next!

Rosey Edeh will be co-hosting Toy Drive Live this year.  Global News teams up with the Toronto Fire Fighters every year to support the Firefighters Toy Drive. This annual event will be broadcast live on Global  News at 5:30pm from the Shops on Don Mills on Thursday, December 4.  Bring a toy and join in the festive fun!