Showing posts with label Holiday. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holiday. Show all posts

Christmas on Roseanne

Monday, December 20, 2021

Now that I have a family of my own, the notion of community, tradition, faith, and the holidays mean so much more to me.  "Roseanne" was never a show my family watched when I was growing up, and I didn't get into watching the reruns until I was in college, but the series does an excellent job representing all of those things.  The time period "Roseanne" was set in and the everyday family it portrays really struck a chord with me as it reminded me of my formative years.  It's been a real treat for me to go back and watch and review each season for this "Holidays on Roseanne" series.

The show and the fictional Conner family took the holiday season seriously.  As we found out reviewing the Halloween episodes (CLICK HERE) or Thanksgiving (CLICK HERE), not every season had a dedicated episode to the given holiday.  The same goes for Christmas, and to be honest, I was surprised at the lack of Christmas episodes during its nine-year run.  Even more surprising, it took "Roseanne" four seasons into the series to have their first Christmas-themed episode.  Of the nine seasons in the show's initial run, only 4 episodes involve Christmas.  

Thank you for indulging me these past few months as I review one of my favorite television series from the past.  It has been a lot of fun and has brought back many great memories of hanging around my college dorm watching reruns late at night.  

So without further ado, let's look at how Roseanne, Dan, and the family spent their Christmas holidays with family, food, decorations, and (of course) arguments with "Christmas on Roseanne!"  

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!"   

Celebrate Mardi Gras with these 10 Films

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Unfortunately, most of New Orleans (and the surrounding area) has had to cancel Mardi Gras festivities for the 2021 celebration due to COVID-19.  At $10.5 billion per year, tourism is a significant part of New Orleans' economy, and without Mardi Gras, the city will undoubtedly suffer financially from the lack of visitors.  So, without the ability to visit this year, I thought it would be fun for all of us to take a look at some films over the years that featured or at least occurred at the New Orleans' Mardi Gras.  

Personally, I enjoy New Orleans when I'm there for work but I likely wouldn't vacation there.  I'm not a party scene guy and prefer Bourbon Street much more in the daytime than at night.  For those of you who like that sort of thing, more power to you and no offense meant to locals.  I enjoy the tourist spots, the music, the architecture, the atmosphere (the "vibe") of NOLA while I'm there.  Oh, and of course the beignets from Cafe du Monde!    

My Top 10 Twilight Zone Episodes NYE Marathon

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Every year on New Year's Eve, Lauren and I look forward to a nice quiet evening together.  We don't go out (anymore), and we don't have a bash at the house.  It's just the two of us, enjoying each other's company, some Chinese food, and television.  The past few years, we've gone to bed shortly after midnight, and honestly, I think the latest I've ever stayed up on New Year's was about 2am.
One of our many "rules" and traditions that we have is that we binge-watch as much as we can during the vacation week between Christmas and New Year's.  Now that we have a baby, it's a bit difficult, but... that will fix itself in the coming years as she grows up.  We often try to squeeze in Breaking Bad and The Sopranos, and this year (2020), we've already started on Breaking Bad.  Of course, on New Year's Eve, there's also "The Honeymooner's" marathon on WPIX here in New York that starts at midnight.  

However, one of the things I look forward to the most is SyFy's "The Twilight Zone" Marathon.  Every year I scour the guide and look for my favorite episodes to record, and so I've decided to put together a "Top 10" list of my favorite episodes, plus a few extras, which I hope you'll enjoy.  I'll even include the times these episodes will air this year if you're so inclined to check them out.

Just know, off the bat, this list will not include the episodes "Five Characters in Search of an Exit," "The Bewitchin' Pool," or "The Masks."  I cannot change the channel fast enough when I see these episodes.  I just wanted to document it here that I absolutely HATE these three episodes.  "Number 12 Looks Just Like You" is up there, too.

This year, the marathon begins on SyFy at 6:00AM (Eastern) on Thursday, December 31st, and will end at 5:30AM on Saturday, January 2nd. So, in honor of this great holiday marathon, I present to you my Top 10 Twilight Zone Episodes list.  

My ABCs of Christmas

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Well, everyone, we made it to Christmas!  What a fun month it's been building the excitement up for the big day!  Much like Halloween, I've decided to do a fun little ABC's of Christmas, with the help of my lovely wife, Lauren!  You can read that Halloween feature HERE, by the way.

Without further ado, our Christmas ABC list for 2020:

Christmas on Home Improvement

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Recently, I've gotten back into watching some of the shows I loved growing up.  "Home Improvement" was one of those shows my entire family enjoyed, and we made it a weekly staple to gather around the TV together to watch the latest episode.  It has been a real treat for me to go back and watch and review each season for this Holidays on Home Improvement series.

The show, and the fictional Taylor family, took the winter holiday season seriously.  Christmas was clearly the most significant holiday event for the Taylor family each year.  As we found out reviewing the Halloween episodes, which you can find by clicking HERE, not every season of "Home Improvement" contained a dedicated episode to the spooky holiday.  The same goes for Thanksgiving, which you can also find by clicking HERE.  Christmas, however, is served up every year with heartfelt storylines, laughter, and more.  Growing up in my house was similar to the show in that regard.

Halloween wasn't that big of an event for us.  We'd wear costumes and trick-or-treat, but that was about it.  For Thanksgiving, we'd have some extended family or our elderly neighbors over for the afternoon but everyone would be on their way home by 7 or 8 o'clock.

Christmas, however, was a different story.  We had lots of family stay for several days in our house and my Grandparents' next door.  Everyone pitched in to decorate the houses the day after Thanksgiving, my Grandmother would spend weeks baking batch after batch of Christmas cookies, and my parents would have an annual argument over putting up a real or fake tree.  On Christmas Eve, we'd attend a candlelight service, drive around looking for the best Christmas lights, and then open up one present before bed.  Christmas day was a full-day affair with several rounds of presents, meals, and much more that seemed to roll into New Year's Eve a week later. 

Thank you for indulging me these past few months as I review one of my favorite television series from my childhood.  It has been a lot of fun and has brought back so many great memories.  I can still remember watching most of these episodes live for the first time, and that's what YesterYear Retro is all about.

So without further ado, let's look at how Tim Taylor and his family spent 8 seasons with elves, gifts, family, and even roof-top decorations that affect air traffic on "Christmas on Home Improvement!"

Thanksgiving on Home Improvement

Friday, November 20, 2020

The holiday season was often an important event on "Home Improvement." Halloween and Christmas were the most significant holidays on the show. However, Tim Taylor made sure Thanksgiving was a giant feast and time to connect with friends and family. Tim and the Taylor family and their friends celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, often in a big way, every year. 

When we looked back at Halloween on Home Improvement last month, we discovered that they emphasized the holiday some years more than others. Thanksgiving is no different during the 8 season run of the series. Some years, like Season Seven, Thanksgiving was the central focus of the episode. Others, like Season Eight, there was barely a passing mention and served only as a backdrop to the story.  

In continuing my "Holidays on Home Improvement" series, we'll take a look back and see how they touched on Thanksgiving each season.

Get ready to deep fry that turkey because here comes "Thanksgiving on Home Improvement!"

Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2020

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Haul out the holly! Put out the tree before my spirit falls again... it's time for Christmas television! Of course, you have the Hallmark and Lifetime channels with nonstop 24/7 Christmas... but what about the other Christmas classics?  

Well, here is a list of what I consider the best of the best. Obviously, this schedule is subject to change, but as of writing, here it is!

The YesterYear Retro Christmas Classics TV Schedule for 2020!

Items Of Note


"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" will NOT air on television this year but will be FREE on Apple TV from November 25th through November 27th. The same goes for "A Charlie Brown Christmas," which will be available FREE on Apple TV from December 11th through December 13th.

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

"A White Christmas" starring Bing Crosby and Danny Faye will air late at night at 2:30 AM on AMC on the night of December 3rd or the morning of December 4th, depending on how you look at it. The actual date is December 4th at 2:30 AM.

"The Wizard of Oz" airs on TBS on Sunday, November 22nd, at 8 PM and 10 PM.

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

"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 on Ch4at 6 PM on Christmas Day on TBS and 7 PM on TNT.

The Fourth of July

Saturday, July 4, 2020

In honor of the 4th of July, Mickey and Jason over at The Retro Network Podcast, recently asked their audience what it was that in pop culture (movie, tv, music, etc) makes you feel most nostalgic for Americana.  

As I do every week when they ask for listener feedback, I immediately have a gut reaction and something comes to mind.  I often reflect on it for a few moments before responding.  This time, I knew exactly what my answer would be: 

The night game and fireworks scene from the movie "The Sandlot."  

"The Sandlot" holds a special place in my heart for a special reason from my time as a child, but, that's a story for another time. 

Baseball is as American as apple pie.  Kids playing neighborhood baseball until their parents call them home for the evening, to me, is just as American... if not more so.  Neighbors outdoors instead of inside on their phones or in front of the television.  Good, decent, hardworking people enjoying fellowship with shared food and drinks out in freshly cut grass lawns with sizzling barbeque grills, the smell of charcoal, women chatting and laughing, men sharing a bawdy joke... it all just paints a picture of an older, easier, better time in American history.

This year, with all of the craziness of 2020 in America, now more than ever, I long for a time I didn't even live through.  If we could only go back to a time when it all seemed so simple.  

Enjoy your Fourth of July, everyone.  

May God bless America.

Holiday Memories of YesterYear: New Year's Eve

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Welcome back to the final Holiday Memories of Yesteryear for 2019!  As a reminder this is just a rambling stream of consciousness as I remember events and moments from holidays gone by.

New Years Eve was never a big event in my family growing up.  My parents often went to bed around 9pm on a regular night and maybe stayed up to 10pm on New Years Eve.  A few times we would go to my Dad's cousin house in New Jersey for dinner and then drive home about 8pm.  I remember being sleepy in the backseat as my Dad listened to the New York Ranger's game on WFAN the AM radio sports station in New York.

When I was in high school one of my best friends, and fellow goalie on the hockey team, invited the family over for a party.  We'd often stay till about 12:15 and then head home.  We went for a few years but stopped once we were in college.  I made a fool of myself singing karaoke a few times (the only and last time I've done that) and one year my brother had a little too much to drink and backed over their mailbox.

Of course, my senior year I had some of their finger foods... pigs in a blanket... and found myself throwing up all night long to the point that I slept until 8pm the next day.  I'm sure my parents thought I was drunk but I didn't even have anything to drink and it was really just the food.

Once I met my wife in college we spent every New Years Eve together.  We never went to a big party, just sat on the sofa, had some drinks and good food, and enjoyed each others company.  After I was furloughed from my first airline I was upset that I had to work my first New Years Eve at my new airline.  I was in Manchester, New Hampshire and I stayed up on the phone with her past midnight even though I had a 4am van to the airport for work the next morning.  I think I was more upset than she was.

One year while I was basically living in her parents basement between days away at work we joined her parents at the bowling alley where her Dad bowls in a league.  They had a big party with food and drinks, music, flashing party lights... the works.  It was a bit empty and we really enjoyed ourselves.  The following year the place was packed and had about half the food they provided the year earlier.  On top of that it was icy and freezing rain on the way home after midnight with all of the drunks on the road and we decided that even though we had a pretty good time together that was the end of that.

Since 2012 we've owned our own home and have spent every New Years Eve together on our own sofa.  We get Chinese food and watch TV... usually one of the many marathons on.  The past few years we've watched The Walking Dead (before it sucked) or the Breaking Bad marathons on AMC.  Around here in New York, WPIX always has the Honeymooners on after the ball drops.  We used to watch a few episodes before heading to bed but lately it's all we can do to stay awake!  You can read all about my favorite Honeymooners episodes on the blog here.   Of course the Twilight Zone marathon on SyFy is another required viewing, for a few episodes at least.  There will be a post about that soon, too!  Keep an eye out.

Like most of the holidays around the end of the year it's about the time spent with loved ones.  I honestly think New Year's Eve is my 2nd favorite holiday because my wife and I just hunker down in our warm house and spend the time together with our little tradition of Chinese food and TV.

With a little one on the way, what will next year bring? 

Holiday Memories of YesterYear: Christmas

Monday, December 23, 2019

Welcome to the third post in a series of rambling stream-of-conscious articles related to holiday memories of the past.  With Christmas just days away, I sat down to reflect upon the Christmases of yesteryear.  I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it.... It's cathartic in some way to go back and put this down in writing and hopefully it jogs a memory of some fun or heartfelt moments of your own.

McDonalds Bucks in My Christmas Stocking

Friday, December 13, 2019

My family was never really that big on Christmas stockings.  We didn't have a fireplace or a chimney so they just kind of rested on the back of the living room sofa.  I remember bugging my Dad one year when it dawned on me that while the house had a chimney outside... we didn't have a fireplace inside.  He tried to explain to my 6 year old brain that the chimney was attached to the furnace down in the basement but this really upset me because how would Santa get into the house and not get hurt?  He told me he'd enter through the window in my Parent's bedroom since it was next to the chimney.  I found that acceptable I guess.

Anyway, back to stockings... we had a basic red ones with white trim and our names were sewn on with green yarn.  My Mom would always make sure to buy some goodies and trinkets at the CVS or the Dollar Store and toss them in.  Chocolate gold coins, funny pencil erasers, gum, candy, maybe a koosh ball... but the ULTIMATE stocking stuffer gift back then was the McDonald's Gift Certificate coupon booklets! 

Today they come in credit card style gift cards or even online electronic gift certificates, but back then they were shaped like little dollar bills and so my Brother Matt and I called them "McDonald's Bucks!"

10 Times Christmas Collides with Pro Wrestling!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Much like Thanksgiving... Pro Wrestling and Christmas go hand in hand.  Over the years, wrestling promotions and wrestlers have celebrated (and exploited) the holiday season in many ways.  From holding events on Christmas day to wrestlers dressed up as Santa Claus, Christmas themed gimmick matches, or even a handful of wrestlers appearing in Christmas movies, these festive events celebrate the holiday season for children and adults alike.

I've looked around the internet and compiled a list in no particular order of some examples of when Christmas and Pro Wrestling COLLIDE!

A Cartoon Christmas: My Top 5 Christmas Cartoons

Monday, December 9, 2019

Nothing is more endearing (or enduring) as a Christmas cartoon.  I know it's sacrilege but I really don't like the "iconic" Christmas specials Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Maybe they were before my time, but, I just never dug those.  I think the claymation creeped me out and I hated the elves... but no holiday spawns more television specials to choose from than Christmas.

I know this may be just another "Top 5" article, but, I feel like those types of articles give me the ability to mention a bunch of different topics that may spark a memory or emotion in you (and myself!) as we all take a road trip down our memory highway into yesteryear.

The 1992 Sears Wish Book

Friday, December 6, 2019

One of the most exciting things during my otherwise normal day during my childhood was seeing the mailman walk up to the house.  Occasionally my Uncle would send a note packed with a few goodies.  Or maybe a NHL team would finally return an autograph that I had requested in spam-like fashion through multiple letters because of a book I had picked up at a school book fair (remember those?) that told you how to send away for autographs from sports teams or actors.  Other than that, I didn't get much mail but it was still exciting to see what would show up that day for Mom or Dad.  Junk mail.  Bills.  Letters.  Catalogs!

I'd often grab the catalogs and pour over them before turning them over to my folks.  It didn't matter the store.  It didn't matter what they sold... more often than not they had a toy section!  Most everyone back in the 80's and 90's, myself included, lived for the moment the Sears Wish Book arrived in late Summer or early Fall.  I remember as a kid these things were the size of small phone books and the smell of the ink and paper can take me back if I catch a whiff in a new circular today.

In an effort to do something special for this site and a chance to take another road trip into yesteryear... I picked up an edition of the 1992 annual Sears Wish Book for cheap on eBay and scanned in some pages for you to enjoy!

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 30th Anniversary

Sunday, December 1, 2019

For most of us one of the best parts of Christmas is watching our favorite holiday movies over and over (and over) again.  In what I'd like to be the first in a series this coming year reviewing one of my favorite film franchises, the National Lampoon's 'Vacation' series, I'll be taking a look back at my all-time favorite Christmas movie as it turns 30 this year.

Christmas Vacation is an absolute must watch in my house every year immediately following Thanksgiving right through Christmas Day.  My wife and I often have the television on as we fall asleep at night and during the Christmas season we often drift off as the DVD for this film plays.  We even make sure to play Christmas Vacation after our Christmas dinner is over for those that have moved into the living room to loosen the belt buckle and relax.

December 1st, 2019 marks the 30th Anniversary for this film and what better way than to honor it with a look at how it reminds us of our own family get-togethers and the lighter sides of the holiday season.  This movie covers everything you could want in a Christmas movie:  comedy, drama, the value of family, the stress we all face, and the child like joy during the holidays.  The Griswold's are all of us as we attempt the picture perfect Christmas.

Black Friday Top Toys of the 80's and 90's

Friday, November 29, 2019

Today, the day after Thanksgiving, is widely known as "Black Friday."  This annual shopping day has earned it's 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."  Back in the day, shoppers would wake up at the crack of dawn for early doorbuster sales.  I remember as a kid when it was a big deal that stores would open at 4am.  As the years went on the stores opened earlier and earlier and now today we have people skipping out on Thanksgiving dinner as they head out in search of deep discounts, hard to find gifts, and credit card debt.  Of course, as most of us know, as the internet became more prevalent, this tradition of yesteryear has expanded into Cyber Monday and now we are at the point in 2019 that some companies began running "Black Friday" deals on November 1st.

Even though the tradition is not as fun as it once was, one thing has always been a big seller on Black Friday:  Toys.  People buy toys on Black Friday.  Hard to find, limited quantity, and high priced... it didn't matter.  Even before "going viral" was a thing, parents would literally get into fist fights to ensure that little Johnny had the hot toy for that year under the Christmas Tree.  Here's a look back at the top toys of the 80's and 90's that drove parents crazy!

Holiday Memories of YesterYear: Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Welcome to the second post in a series of rambling stream-of-conscious articles related to holiday memories of the past.  With Thanksgiving just days away, I sat down to reflect upon Thanksgivings of yesteryear.  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  It's cathartic in a way to go back and put this down in writing and hopefully it jogs your memory of some fun or heartfelt moments of your own.

When the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Doesn't Go As Planned

Monday, November 25, 2019

Very few things can get millions of Americans to tune in to the same television channel at the same time anymore.  The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is still one of those things.  In my household, it's always playing in the background on Thanksgiving morning but the marching bands, lip synching, and Broadway dancing just aren't something we have interest in watching.  The larger than life balloons, however, are a favorite and still draw everyone's attention at my house.

Since 1924, the Thanksgiving Day Parade (originally the Macy's Christmas Parade) has entertained hundreds of millions.  Originally the parade featured employees in costumes and animals from the Central Park Zoo, including tigers and elephants.  In 1927, the game changed when Felix the Cat became the first iconic giant balloon.

5 Things I miss about Thanksgiving in the 90s

Friday, November 22, 2019

I've been reflecting a lot lately on my own childhood; both for this blog and the impending arrival of my own first child wondering what memories she'll have.  At the risk of sounding like a Buzzfeed clickbait listicle, I've decided to do a Top 5 list of things I miss about Thanksgiving from the 1990's.  I was born in 1984, a bit too late to have clear memories of the 80's but I definitely remember the holidays of the 1990's.

So, without further ado, here are my Top 5 Things I Miss About Thanksgiving's of the 90's: