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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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Like Peas and Carrots and Whiskers on Kittens

Posted 11-13-2011 at 11:05 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I don't know why it is bothering me so much this year. And as I reflect on it, I'm probably the only person in the world who notices this problem. But it is getting to me to read so much in the media about how sick people are of the "early" Christmas. It is just non-stop this year. The whining just goes on and on about how Christmas has taken over Thanksgiving.

Why does it have to be either one or the other?

I've never looked at Thanksgiving separate from Christmas. At the same time, I've never looked at it separate from Halloweeen. They are all part of the same -- the season. They go together like peas and carrots.

As I was working on the Thanksgiving podcast last night I found myself in tears over parts because in my most personal spots Thanksgiving is a time of great sacred significance to me.

I think it is because I've become a weepy old man in these years where my children spread their adult wings and turn my hair gray....
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Pain of Change

Posted 11-04-2011 at 11:08 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 11-04-2011 at 11:12 PM by Jeff Westover

We live in a sea of change in my home. With kids in various states of chaos -- age 25, 19, 17, 15, 13, 11 and 9 -- change is what life is all about right now.

And I don't have to tell any of you how hard growing up can be.

One of the elements of growing up is dealing with things that have changed beyond our control. Aubree, for example, still helps track Santa on Christmas Eve. That's in her control. Whether we get snow on Christmas is not within her control. And sometimes that is hard to deal with.

I had the other day my teenager daughters (which is code for "shoppers") starting to talk about getting up at 4am on Black Friday and hitting the stores. Like little old ladies they were waxing nostalgic.

I hated to throw cold water on them. But as this week has unfolded with Black Friday news it has become evident that the 5am openings of the past are just that -- over.

Now all stores look to either be open on...
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Happy Anniversary, Baby

Posted 10-12-2011 at 06:41 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

October 12th, 1991, was the day My Merry Christmas was born. That also happened to be the day I got married.

Those two events go hand-in-hand for one reason: Aubree, my now-25 year old daughter.

We became a family that day. And almost immediately we started making plans for Christmas.

She presented to me a terrific challenge. For all of her short life she had celebrated Christmas one way: every Christmas Eve she spent at her grandparent's home in a sea of family. They ate, opened gifts and enjoyed each others company.

For all of my 28-years I had celebrated Christmas differently -- like a child. Every Christmas Eve we would stay home as a family and hang our stockings. We might see some family drop by and we might spend time with them on the phone. But our home was ground zero for Christmas and the action all happened within footsteps of my bedroom. Christmas meant that intimate family time together, reading the Christmas story from...
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Howls of Christmas Laughter, Tears of Christmas Memories

Posted 09-25-2011 at 12:11 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

It is a brilliant fall Sunday morning and I'm playing hooky from Church with a couple of the kids who have come down with sore throats. You wouldn't guess that right now if you were here and could hear their howls of laughter on this otherwise peaceful Sunday morning.

Sunday is a no-TV-no-computer-no-video-game day in my house and to occupy themselves they have pulled out a now-vintage camcorder that I last used around the year 1999 and they are watching themselves as babies and wee ones. This morning Christmas of 1996 is playing and I hear once again their tiny voices from the distant past.

And the kids are laughing their butts off.

To be honest with you though I couldn't stay out there with these teenagers of mine. I watched for about five minutes before I returned here to my office and shut the door, effectively leaving the past for them to review this morning. Something about it made me a little sad.

As I was watching...
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A Clumsy Christmas Eve Remembered

Posted 09-19-2011 at 12:48 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

We have so many crazy memories of Christmas Eve that it is hard some times to account for them all. A neighbor next door to me reminded me of a moment I failed to tell anyone about -- because it was a bit embarrassing.

About ten years ago my son asked for a drum set for Christmas.

A wise elf admonished us early in our marriage to always clear a wishlist to Santa with Mom first -- if Mom didn't approve, Santa wouldn't deliver.

There was just no way my son was getting drums. He was eight, all boy, and prone to, uh, enthusiastic activities. We had not one but two little girls under the age of three and life was chaotic enough.

No drums. Mom said no. I said no. And Santa never heard the request.

But a neighbor did and a few days before Christmas, as they cleaned out their basement in advance of a house move, he brought us over a set of used drums. This good man was a musician with years of experience and when I...
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