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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
Christmas For all things pertaining to Christmas
Old

20 Years, Baby, 20 Years

Posted 05-24-2011 at 12:41 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I was at dinner the other night and had a rare opportunity to advise my 21-year old nephew.

As he approaches his college graduation he is, as many often are, lost in terms of what to do next. It is not as if jobs are falling off of trees and after years of pouring it to the coals to get through school he wants a change but just isn't quite ready to declare what he wants to be when he grows up.

That makes him absolutely normal, by the way. And I told him so. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

But I did give him this advice: never, ever trust an employer -- and always have something on the side to do. Something you can call your own.

"Oh?" he said. "You mean like that Christmas thing you've been doing the last couple of years?"

My sister -- his mother -- chortled a bit. I gently reminded him that I've been doing this "Christmas thing" for 20 years now.

He gave me a blank stare....
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Old

Of Fear and Faith

Posted 05-21-2011 at 06:56 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I'm in Denver this weekend for a family wedding - always a moment of great hope and happiness.

I am without my bride, an unusual thing, and one cannot help but reflect back on more than two decades of togetherness while at an event like this.

Parenthetically, the world is scheduled to end today. A group of folks has spent considerable resources the past six months or so telling the world that it all ends on May 21st, 2011...at 6:00pm, no less.

I'm not one to be critical of any faith and I think folks should believe what they want in their hearts to believe. I like the idea of embracing truth wherever it is found.

But I see a consequence for things like this. My conduit with the world is right here, in the unsolicited emails we get from worried or needful folks or in the mail that Santa receives from believers of all ages.

And this week we have received a few emails from folks concerned that we've seen our last Christmas....
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Old

Your Website Changed My Life, Man

Posted 05-14-2011 at 01:26 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I fired a guy recently.

I've been doing that a lot in conjunction with a new job I've taken. I was hoping to make my living on my websites and another business we own but we suffer from the classic dilemma of every small business: do you continue to work or do you eat?

That, and the fact that we're woefully under-capitalized, keeps our efforts here modest.

And that's ok. We were born on a shoe-string and that frugality, actually, is what keeps us around.

So I've taken this job and I've been given responsibility for a business that was totally neglected and is burning out of control. So, I've been cleaning things up, hiring and firing, as these things go.

And last week I fired a guy who knew who I am.

"I Googled you," he told me. "You're the Christmas dude. You run My Merry Christmas."

It didn't help his case.

But it did remind me of how far and wide the influence...
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Old

The Great Mothers of Christmas

Posted 05-08-2011 at 08:25 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Mother's Day should be a big milestone in the countdown to Christmas. After all, what would the story of Christmas be without mothers? In all of Christmas history -- both fact and fiction -- Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without them.

Who could deny Mary, the mother of the Christ, her place? Chosen amongst women she had a front row seat for the whole ministry of the Savior. Can her influence be doubted? And could the love of her Son have been more tender?

Mary has always had a special place in my heart because of her humanity.

She enters the story not as a woman but as a girl -- a chosen individual called to a sacred purpose. She had to know she would face heartbreak and trial in accepting that role.

Mentoring her was the wise Elizabeth, a study of pure joy not only at the calling of Mary and the One she carried but also at the blessing of her own Motherhood. Here she was a barren woman, denied children until visited...
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Cheering a Death

Posted 05-02-2011 at 08:10 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

The galvanizing moments of the morning of September 11th are never to be forgotten. I remember well just exactly where I was standing when I saw the first images and what my immediate thoughts were.

The same can be said of last night when word was received that the mastermind of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, was reported to have been killed by American forces in Pakistan.

My immediate, knee-jerk response was one of joy. The monster is finally gone.

I thought first of my friend, Robert, who was in the World Trade Center.

Like many of you, I never officially met Robert. I knew him only online but I had known him for a number of years. We were two adults playing a kid's game and we did it 9 months out of the year together. In playing fantasy baseball we competed against each other, trading players and giving each other a hard time. During the year we would exchange emails and occasionally we'd share other things about our lives. At...
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