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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 didn´t 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
Old

Let Hunting Season Begin!

Posted 08-02-2010 at 12:13 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I get the itch every year around this time. It is a season fraught with tradition and precision -- everything has to be done "just so".

I'm not sure which is greater: going for the kill or just preparing for the hunt?

No -- not the deer hunt. (I did that once, city boy that I am, and can testify of the legendary tales told by the campfire and likewise the less-than-legendary acts committed while on the prowl). Frankly,I don't have the stomach for killing animals and have never again done it.

The hunt of which I speak is the yearly search for the Christmas ornament I will send to my yet-unkown ornament exchange partner.

After doing this for a few years I've decided there is real art in the hunt for an ornament. It is not like you can go pick out Martha Stewart's best and send it off feeling good about yourself.

No way. The ornament exchange is an intimate deal. You have to get to know your trading partner and learn...
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Sick of Silly Santas

Posted 07-26-2010 at 09:16 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 08-23-2010 at 09:56 PM by Jeff Westover

It has been a year to forget in the outside world of professional Santas.

It was about a year ago we had to deal with a group of traveling Santas who thought it was a good idea to visit a brothel museum dressed as Santa.

Then we endured a Santa & Mrs. Claus couple who ran a Santa convention. They hosted a big event then skipped town with all the money -- stiffing vendors, fellow Santas and the City of Gatlinburg, Tennessee at the same time.

And now we endure, as if on schedule, the yearly rant from a man who legally changed his name to Santa Claus in Lake Tahoe, California.

Last year this guy -- a monk, no less -- put out multiple press releases about a state-by-state capitol tour he was engaging in to scold state govenors about pushing more money towards children's issues.

Ok, we're good with that.

But we noticed that all his efforts seemed to be about him. He never raised a dime for kids and he...
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I Am a Weepy Old Man

Posted 12-23-2009 at 09:17 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)



Like every Christmas season this year has been hectic. As we sit on the cusp of Christmas Eve I am almost missing it already. It comes and it goes so quickly.

It is enough to make me cry.

That is a sentiment I am experiencing far too much these days. I am becoming a weepy old man.

Towards the end of his life my grandfather was known to weep at seemingly small things. He grew very tender.

I am nowhere near the age he passed but I know the feeling well now. This Christmas season has brought tears to me like few have before.

This Christmas is the first without my eldest daughter at home. Aubree is 23 and serving a Church mission in Florida. Yes, it is not the end of the earth and this Christmas gone doesn't mean she won't be back next year.

But you have to understand. Aubree was the very reason we even have this website. For...
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A Simple Tradition of Love

Posted 11-12-2009 at 11:15 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

In the wee hours of New Year's Day a thread was begun that started again a cycle of unbroken tradition that began on another site years ago. It is a simple, joyous tradition -- celebrated daily, a habit for many. We call it the Christmas Countdown.

Tonight, that thread surpassed 6800 posts in an ongoing conversation amongst a diverse group of Christmas lovers.

Started years ago on a now defunct forum many of the original posters who were there then are here now -- counting down to this unofficial "official" start of the Christmas season, November 13th.

Like New Year's Eve, tonight they counted down the hours and minutes together. And tomorrow the countdown to Christmas 2009 continues -- in the same thread, in the same happy tradition that will no doubt begin again once the New Year is noted yet again.

Like so many great Christmas traditions what makes this one special is that it is shared. Folks just come together. From wherever...
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The Sweetest Gift

Posted 12-22-2008 at 08:17 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Traveling home from a business trip on December 19th is never fun. I've done it before and I've sworn I'd never do it again. But duty called and there I found myself on a Friday night waiting at the airport as weather across the country scrambled my chances of getting home on the weekend before Christmas 2008.

The Southwest terminal in Los Angeles is a bit of a gritty place. Always busy, it was packed with holiday travellers bound for all points east -- and no one was going anywhere.

I was there for more than 5 hours. Finally our plane arrived but we had to wait an additional hour for a crew to arrive to man it. After midnight -- officially Saturday now - we finally boarded, packed in like sardines, pushed away from the gate only to sit on the tarmac for some reason for 45 minutes.

My flight was only about 1 hour and 20 minutes. I was more than 8 hours now into my nightmare.

The flight itself was uneventful. All were too tired...
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