Retro RePost: What Parade Was That In Christmas Vacation?!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

As we get past that post-Thanksgiving food coma and run full speed into the holiday spirit, here at home, I'm getting busy preparing for my annual simulator training for work.  That requires focus and takes up nearly all of my free time heading into the 3-day event, thrown in with the extra holiday flight schedule, my free time is limited.   

So, forgive another RePost here, but this one's a good one from 2019 featuring my favorite Christmas movie, "Christmas Vacation!"

I often wondered about this tiny, somewhat throw-away scene in the movie.  Matter of fact, it's what's happening in the background of this short scene that caught my interest.

The original intention of this site was dedicated to getting the nostalgia nonsense off my brain and onto paper (so to speak), so what better way to do some research and finally figure out the answer to a nagging question? 

Retro RePost: Top Toys Of 80s and 90s Black Friday

Sunday, November 28, 2021

The day after Thanksgiving is widely known as "Black Friday."  This annual shopping day earned its colorful nickname because it represents the time of year when most retailers turn a profit and the accounting books move from "the red" to "the black."  

When I was growing up, I can remember that Black Friday was a big event for some of our family friends.  They'd get up and go out shopping at 3 or 4 in the morning to get the biggest deals.  My family did that because my parents would always say they were crazy for going out at that time of day just to save a few bucks, but it always seemed like a fun kind of thing to do.  I never did get up early to go out shopping on Black Friday, so I don't really know what it was really like.  On the other hand, some of those videos of people crushing through store doors and running over other people didn't seem like a good time.

Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2021

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving is here, and as the turkey cooks in the oven, we turn toward our annual Christmas television specials! You've had the nonstop Hallmark movies for over a month now, but it's time for the yearly classics that get us all in the festive Christmas spirit!

Here is a list of what I consider the best of the best of the holiday season.  Bookmark this page so you can come back time and time again to make sure your DVR is up to date!  If you don't bookmark it, you can find it on the right side of desktop browsers and below the articles on mobile.

Obviously, this schedule is subject to change, but as of writing, here is:

The YesterYear Retro Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2021!

Items Of Note


After all of the hubbub last year that "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was not on ABC for the first time in decades (it was available via Apple TV), this year, you can find the classic special on PBS on Sunday December 19, at 7:30PM ET.  

FreeForms "25 Days of Christmas" begins on December 1st!  

"The Wizard of Oz" airs on TBS on Thanksgiving Day, Nov 25 at 7:45PM and Nov 26 at 12:00PM.

"It's a Wonderful Life" airs on December 4 on NBC at 8PM and again on Christmas Eve on NBC at 8PM.

"A Christmas Story" marathon returns to both TBS *AND* TNT this year! It begins at 8 PM on TBS and 9 PM on TNT on Christmas Eve. Final showings air at 6 PM on Christmas Day on TBS and 7 PM on TNT.

Retro RePost: When Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Doesn't Go As Planned!

Monday, November 22, 2021

This was one of my first articles to appear on The Retro Network back in 2019.  This was a fun little piece to put together and one of the ways I'm able to get some of this seemingly useless trivia out of my brain and onto paper (electronically, of course) so that it's documented somewhere.  

As we rapidly approach Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year, it's a time we all reflect back on our memories.  Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade was never that big of a deal in my family, but like all kids, watching the balloons float through the streets of New York City was pretty darn exciting.  Especially when they were my favorite cartoon characters!  

Thanksgiving on Roseanne

Friday, November 19, 2021

The holiday season was often a significant event on the classic sitcom "Roseanne."  Roseanne is probably best known for their annual Halloween celebration, but Thanksgiving was highlighted in most seasons since family and togetherness are very important to the real-life Roseanne.  Most years, the Conner family celebrated Thanksgiving in a big way with a large family dinner complete with all the trimmings, jokes, laughter, and some family squabbles, too!   

When we looked back at Halloween on Roseanne last month, we discovered that the holiday was emphasized more than others in some years.  Thanksgiving is no different during the 9 season run of the series, but as we found with Halloween, the first season of "Roseanne" didn't cover Thanksgiving at all as the series was only 4 episodes old at that point.  Interestingly, "Roseanne" was on an every-other-season schedule celebrating Thanksgiving until season 6, when each of the remaining seasons enjoyed using the holiday as a backdrop to an episode.    

Watching the Thanksgiving episodes over for this article, I noticed some fun trends, routines, or traditions that seemed like something that would happen in any family in America.  Jackie would always be the one to bring the groceries over early in the morning while Roseanne would cook.  Dan and the men watched football after playing in their own annual football game.  Each year, new faces would be around the table, while as the kids grew, some familiar faces began to disappear into their own families and traditions.  Roseanne's mother got on her last nerve every year while using the holiday as a way to "spill the beans" about something from her past.  

In continuing my "Holidays on Roseanne" series, we'll take a look back and see how they touched on Thanksgiving each season.  So, get ready for some dysfunctional yet loving family fun as we look back on "Thanksgiving on Roseanne!"   

Really Retro Review: North by Northwest (1959)

Monday, November 15, 2021

"North by Northwest" is not only one of Alfred Hitchcock's best films, but it's a movie that I'd consider to be one of the greatest of all time.  This movie strikes my wanderlust fancy and provides a thrilling, suspenseful mystery.  It also doesn't hurt that most of the film is set in my favorite place on the entire planet: the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Surrounded by the majesty of Mount Rushmore and garnished with the glamour of old-school train travel, Hitchcock paints a masterpiece that could captivate anyone.  With his mastery of suspense, thrills, a little romance, and of course, the signature Hitchcock camera angles, this movie is easily a certifiable classic.  

North by Northwest first came into my world after discovering another Hitchcock masterpiece, Rear Window.  My Dad had shown my brother and I Psycho and The Birds when I was young, around 7 or 8 years old.  The Birds scared me so much I was afraid to go open the basement door where the garbage can was located for days just in case birds were about to fly out and attack me. 

Around that time, Dad either found the VHS of Rear Window or recorded it off the TV for me.  Rear Window quickly became my favorite movie of all time, and I began searching out more Hitchcock films as I grew up.  Vertigo, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder, and many others soon occupied my free time.  Then, I found North by Northwest.

Retro RePost: How Football on Thanksgiving Became a "Thing"

Friday, November 12, 2021

The leaves are falling, the temperature has dropped, and we've already set our clocks back an hour.  It's definitely Autumn.  This time of year brings certain things to mind for all of us.  For myself, I'm reminded of the times I spent outdoors in cooler weather and family visiting for Thanksgiving.  I'm also reminded of my high school hockey team and how it had gotten into full swing by this time of year.  Of course, Thanksgiving also reminds me of football.  

I've never been that big of a football fan, but my high school was always pretty good at it.  Nothing like high school football in Texas, but we were pretty darn good for New York.  I didn't play, but during my Senior Year of high school, I had several good friends on the team, and I went to watch them play a few times.  One of the most memorable times during that year was when my Dad and I drove a few hours upstate to watch them in the third round of the playoffs.  I don't exactly remember how the game ended up, but if I had to guess it was a losing effort.  But, the memory of my Dad and I driving down the New York Thruway late at night after the game is one I often think about while driving or flying at night as I look up at the stars.

5 Videos I Rented Over and Over As a 90s Kid

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

I've written a few times about the great little video rental store where I grew up called "Dollar Video."  I spent a lot of time in that store, and it was one of the things I most looked forward to during the week.  On most Saturday mornings, Mom would take us down the road to Dollar Video, and we'd each pick out a video or a video game for us to watch or play that weekend.   

More often than not, we'd also hit up the town's library and rent movies for free.  They had these great big black binders with little circle-shaped stickers to indicate what age group the movies were appropriate for.  I remember green, orange, and red, but I may be mistaken.  The binders were full of page after page of photocopies of the VHS box art, and I loved taking my time thumbing through them. 

Like many of us, when I look back, I've found that I would often select the same movie repeatedly.  I was thinking the other day about the 90s and how some of those movies I loved never got their just due.  While many of the films of that era are readily available on DVD or streaming, some of them have never been released on an upgraded medium like DVD or BluRay.  Some were released when the DVDs first hit the market in such limited quantities they are hard to find these days.  

I like to have a physical copy of movies and have a growing DVD collection.  Streaming is terrific, and my wife and I have memberships to several platforms, but it's always nice to know that we don't have to worry about the constant shuffle of inventory on streaming platforms.  We can just pop in the disc and watch what we want to watch when we want to watch it.  Also, they can't edit or censor the DVD like some of the streaming platforms have done with some movies or older TV shows.  

Thinking about all of this, I've compiled a list below of Five of the VHS tapes I rented most frequently growing up, in no particular order.  Leave me a comment below or drop me a note (sidebar for desktop, below on mobile) with some of the VHS tapes you wore out from frequent renting!  

Thanksgiving 2021 Streaming Guide

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Before you know it, the holidays will be here! We've been using these cute cartoon turkey paper plates and napkins we found at Walmart, and our Thanksgiving decorations have been scattered about the house for a week now.  With the temperatures in New York dipping into the 40s, it's starting to feel like Thanksgiving!  

That means it's also time to watch some of our favorite Thanksgiving movies!  While most Turkey Day movies are often pushed aside by the Christmas set of films, there are still plenty of enjoyable movies for those of us who wait until after Thanksgiving to move on to Christmas.  

Like many holiday movies, most of the Thanksgiving movies you'll find have just one scene set at the Thanksgiving dinner table or just barely mention the holiday.  What my wife and I consider to be the true Thanksgiving films requires the plot to be based around Thanksgiving or at the very least focus on people traveling home to their family for Thanksgiving.  

So, if you're ready for some turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy along with the fellowship of friends and family, be thankful for these films to help you get into the mood for the Thanksgiving holiday!  

Click ahead for the list!

Halloween 2021 May Be Over But It’s Time For More Holiday Fun!

Friday, November 5, 2021

Halloween has come and gone.  

In some ways, it seemed like we blinked, and it was over.  In other ways, it seemed like most of America had moved on by October 15th.  

I guess you'd have to expect some seasonal burnout, right?  Halloween items appear in stores by August, and the television networks begin airing specials in September.  Even our beloved Disney World  (and its slew of YouTubers) start the nightly Halloween party while it's still technically summer.  

Heck, the Home Depot by me had tossed the Halloween decorations into the "clearance" section and put the Christmas trees on display on October 1st!  

Now that The Hallmark Channel has begun their Christmas movie marathon (before Halloween, btw), it'll be a struggle to not watch our favorites until after Thanksgiving, so we don't feel like we're rushing the next season.    

To me, it's time we all slowed down a bit.  October is for Halloween.  November is for Thanksgiving.  December is for Christmas. 

Anyway, enough "old man yells at clouds" complaining from me.