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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
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Black Friday Indeed

Posted 11-29-2008 at 12:09 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

For years I've been one of the masses who descend upon stores on Black Friday.

I rarely, if ever, made a purchase.

My purpose in venturing out has been to visit those employees I have who draw the unlucky assignment to work in malls opening as early as midnight and to merely people-watch. I always considered it more of a professional endeavor than a personal outing. I wanted to see what the consumer was going to do for Christmas and Black Friday has never failed to deliver for me.

In years past, I have been amused mostly by the crowds on Black Friday.

A few years back one of my stores had to open at 12:01 a.m. because the mall was having a "Shop til you Drop" promotion that had stores open for nearly 24 hours the day after Thanksgiving.

That event, widely advertised on radio and television here locally in Utah, brought almost 10,000 to one single mall. It took more than 45 minutes for me to walk -- shoulder to shoulder...
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What Was in The Box

Posted 11-08-2008 at 10:04 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Ok, I've been hounded about this and negligent in my duties in telling the rest of the story...last I blogged I told of receiving a mystery box while out of town.

When I got home I had no sooner dragged my luggage through the door before my kids took me by the hand to my chair in the living room. My youngest daughters pushed this rather large box towards my feet and my son handed me his pocket knife.

"Open it!"

Inside was the most curious Christmas decoration we have ever seen -- a large, heavy Christmas tree made entirely of sea shells, complete with a star-fish topper.

Plug it in and it lights up.

With it was an ornament (which will go on this year's tree) and a wonderful handmade card -- all from the members of Christmas Talk.

Suddenly my 16 year old daughter blurted out "Dad got a major award!"

I could not have been more surprised.

Thanks go out to our fellow Christmas...
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What is in the box?

Posted 10-14-2008 at 08:53 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I have been adjusting to a major job shift since June. It has me traveling a lot more. Since the end of May I have had just one full week at home. Tonight I write via laptop from Los Angeles.

My wife tells me that today we received a big box in the mail addressed to me.

That's very strange.

Like most traveling family guys I'm sometimes a stranger in my own home. When the phone rings it is never for me (I have teenagers).

My wife handles the bills and I rarely see anything from the mail box.

Our eldest daughter has long moved out but all her junk mail comes to my house. She gets more than I do.

So the receipt of the box today is unusual.

In the past my company had occasion to send things to my house. But that was when I didn't have a staffed office.

I've now got offices in Salt Lake City, Anaheim and San Francisco. If the company had mail, they wouldn't send it to my house...
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Thorns on the Mistletoe

Posted 10-13-2008 at 12:10 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

It is an election year and it proves just one thing: everyone has an opinion.

I recently had a site member quit in anger because politics was being discussed here and in particular my opinion was one he didn't appreciate. He said I was ruining his Christmas.

Ironically, in the Christmas Crew areas we had been holding discussions for weeks about whether or not we should allow political discourse on our forums.

I hate to lose a site member. But honestly my feeling is that if someone is so thin skinned to place responsibility at my door for ruining their Christmas they weren't going to last long here anyway.

And I completely disagree that politics should be a taboo subject here.

Truth be told, politics and Christmas are old bedfellows. In fact, the fabled War on Christmas is fueled by political agendas.

It is true in our day. It was true in the time of Christ. And it has even been true in the world of...
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A Christmas In Need

Posted 10-11-2008 at 09:56 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I received an unusually bitter email this week. As the financial markets have melted down world wide it seems to have reached us here in an odd way.

"How can you celebrate Christmas with the clear suffering going on in the world?" the emailer asked.

Believe it or not, we get this from time to time. It is not that people hate Christmas. For whatever reason they seem to resent the fact that we celebrate it.

The email went on to ask what we're going to do about all the misery in the world this Christmas.

Wow.

Well, Mysterious Emailer, I'll tell you what we're going to do about it: we're going to celebrate it again.

It amazes me how Christmas can be so misunderstood and misinterpreted even still. Some out there seem to think that we're part of some big plan, some organization, some nefarious element with an agenda to push.

Some suggest is, by it's nature, a religious thing. That Christmas...
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