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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
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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.
Fatherhood Musing about being a Dad.
Old

Movin' on Up, Moving on In...

Posted 07-08-2012 at 11:40 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

It has been a time of unprecedented change for us. But things are starting to look up after what has admittedly been a horrific year.

Here's the outside of our new country home...



This home is located some 100 miles from our home of the past 12 years. It is located in the country, some 2 miles away from a Pepperidge Farms facility that manufactures fishies (my kids insist this is an important detail and "new feature" in their lives).

It is a pretty drastic change from our humble little city track home. We're leaving a community of 90,000 in a suburb of Salt Lake City for a tiny farming community of 2,400. The absence of traffic noise, the presence of country aromas (cows), and the brilliance of the stars at night are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the change this is for us.

The house has a very park-like setting...

We have...
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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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Nothing Blue About Post Christmas

Posted 12-26-2011 at 01:34 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Some of the best Christmas memories are completely accidental. As some of you know, we lost water to our home due to a main break on Christmas Eve morning.

I got the call around 10:30 am. Christmas Eve is the biggest day of the year in my house but on this day we were moving slow. We saved all of our Christmas shopping for the 23rd, including the task of getting all seven kids to the stores to buy their "secret Santa" gift exchange items and we had gone late into the night with that effort. When I say late, I remind you that I have mostly teenagers, so we're talking about most of us hitting the sack around 4 am.

So when that 10:30am call came through I knew I was going to be waking up the troops but wake them up I did when I called out "If you want a shower today you'd better get it done in 30 minutes!" After a brief outcry from the slumbering daughters I explained the situation and I guess because I wasn't just barking orders they leaped into action. We...
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Shaking the Tree of Tradition

Posted 11-29-2011 at 01:34 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 11-29-2011 at 01:37 PM by Jeff Westover

Inspired by a forum post by a new user, I decided to take up the idea of "coding" the presents under the tree this year. There are nine of us living in the house and there just happens to be nine famous reindeer on Santa's Sleigh so come Christmas morning everyone is going to have to figure out who "Rudolph" is...and all the others.

I announced this the other night when we did our annual drawing of the names.

Each Thanksgiving weekend it has been our tradition to draw names and discover who each of us would be secret Santa to for the season.

The secret Santa gig wasn't just a present to open on Christmas morning (last year's secret Santa gift budget was $5.12 per person, so you can imagine how inventive those gifts can be). Being a secret Santa also means doing anonymous acts of service above and beyond the norm leading up to Christmas. If you're smart, you'll do different things for different folks through out the season just to throw off...
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