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Hot Cocoa or Hot Chocolate: A Matter of Taste
It's hard to find good writing now a days. But you have done a great job with all these sharing hot Cocoa and hot Chocolate. That's interesting. Thanks for sharing.
The Best of Christmas Sitcoms
My top favorite Christmas Sitcoms: All from M*A*S*H , Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley. Step By Step - I'll Be Home For Christmas
His Name is Bud
love this story! Thanks for sharing your memories.
The Best of Christmas Sitcoms
Here are my top 10: (in no particular order) All 3 M*A*S*H Christmas episodes they made: Dear Dad Dear Sis Death Takes a Holiday The Bob Newhart Show: His Busiest Time I'm Dreaming of a...
Tips for Buying a Fresh Tree
I will do that fresh cut of the trunk.....that was my problem last Christmas.....the tree lost so many needles....even tho it was fresh....the problem was....since I didnīt cut the trunk....the tree...
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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
Christmas For all things pertaining to Christmas
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If You Gotta Do A Sequel to It's a Wonderful Life

Posted 11-18-2013 at 05:11 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

The Christmas news of the day is the announcement that a sequel will be made of It's a Wonderful Life and will feature some of the child actors who played the Bailey kids in the original.

My instant reaction to this was NOT good.

Sequels don't have a great history of success. Christmas sequels have an even worse reputation.

And it isn't like It's a Wonderful Life hasn't been remade before. Remember how awful the Marlo Thomas version was?

There are several dangerous elements to this project.

First, and foremost, there is the story. It must be remembered that when It's a Wonderful Life first hit theaters it was a flop. It was nominated for Academy awards but this was at a time when studios put out a fraction of films per year compared to what they do now. This story wasn't compelling and the time and the film went into to cold storage for so long its copyright expired which freed it up to get massive amounts of late-night...
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The Heart of the Christmas Fan

Posted 10-17-2012 at 10:22 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Some times this job is just too sweet.

I love this time of year because it is when the Christmas fanatic comes out of the woodwork. And I usually learn a lot more about Christmas when they do.

Don't get me wrong: there are year round Christmas crazies out there. Christmas never really goes away for those of us who love it so much. But sometimes people are afraid to show it because there is a loud and opinionated minority out there that mocks someone who walks a block out of their way to see a lighted Christmas tree.

But there's something about October. The fans come out and begin to share those things that makes Christmas work for them. And there are so many specialties out there.

Take, for example, the story of Lou, shared over at our new site at ShowUsYourChristmas.com. His love of Christmas drove him to festively decorate a 50-foot trailer in lights and decor and hit the road in the dead of winter dressed as Santa to bring a little...
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More Than Just a Day

Posted 09-11-2012 at 12:20 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Over on Facebook I'm seeing lots of images and reminders of 9/11. Most of the sentiments say something to the effect of "Never Forget".

That seems a little too little when it comes to talking about that day. I forget how small my children were then and how young so many folks I know now were on that fateful day.

Maybe it makes me sound old. But I just cannot forget that day. And I think it is important we all share and archive our personal stories from that day.

Everyone has a personal story from that day. You didn't have to be in New York to be affected by it.

For me, the Internet makes the world so much smaller. And it was so true that day, too.

I was in Utah and it was a busy morning. I was preparing for what was called then my "Christmas Meeting". I worked for a retailer whose business was tied to a successful Christmas selling season and it was the biggest meeting of the year for me.

I was new with...
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Christmas Makes the House a Home

Posted 04-19-2012 at 12:54 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

We're moving.

After 13 years in the same place we're officially in the hunt for a new residence.

We came here when my sixth child, Madelyn, was just a week old. Our seventh, Emma, was born here and has known no other home.

If these walls could speak they would have stories to tell: like the Christmas we got Sam, our now ten year old border colllie. I had to bring him to my parents house on Christmas Eve morning for safe keeping and then I had to stay up with his whiny little puppy butt half the night to keep the kids from discovering him too early.

He's still as big a baby as ever.

And he has never known another home.

But things have changed for us and we're in need of relocating. It will be a local move and it introduces us to a new stage in our lives. Three of my adult children, due to their uncoordinated young adult activities, are all leaving the nest at one time. A mass migration.

That...
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Finding Christmas

Posted 03-08-2012 at 08:13 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Here it is early March and my Christmas tree is still up.

That sounds like the confession of a crazed Christmas fanatic but the truth is far less romantic. My tree is up because much of my house, my life, my websites (such as this one) has all been in a suspended state due to a family crisis.

I won't detail that event here other than to say I'm sorry I've been gone. It is easy to excuse things when you can claim it is a life or death situation but honestly, it hasn't been life or death, at least not in the traditional sense. It has merely been what some would classify as teenage drama.

I don't suspect anyone will understand that. But these are MY kids I'm talking about and they are simply the world to me. I know they have to grow up and I know they must assume adult issues at earlier and earlier ages. But oh, how I wish I could go back in time and preserve them for just a little while longer, locked in their innocence and purity.

...
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