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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
Fatherhood Musing about being a Dad.

Merry Christmas, Grandma

Posted 12-23-2010 at 10:38 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Sandy's grandmother passed away yesterday at age 89. It was not unexpected and, yet, like the birth of a child, the world is changed in an instant.

The past week has been nearly unbearable. The constant bad news of decline received in long hours on the phone from California caused worry and concern on a level we've rarely experienced. We knew the outcome in advance but even still the cost in human suffering was unavoidably shocking. Not only for Grandma, who lived without food for five days before slipping away; but also for those around her, especially her own children and specifically the grandmother of my children.

And, of course, my own sweet wife, who had a cherished relationship with Grandma.

My wife is an old soul. I met and married her long after my own grandmother passed and I would have given anything for the two of them to meet. I know in my heart they would be sisters in the truest sense. And that's the way Sandy and her Grandmother...
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Simplifying Christmas

Posted 12-05-2010 at 11:25 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 12-05-2010 at 11:27 PM by Jeff Westover

We had an opportunity tonight to go as a family for a Christmas devotional in Salt Lake City. This annual event is held in the LDS Conference Center, a facility that holds some 21,000 people. Like all Christmas events downtown it is free but you have to have a ticket to get in. We lucked into some tickets at the last minute so we rushed down there to take part in it.

When we got there we discovered we had seven people but only six tickets, so I had my wife head on out with the kids as I fought traffic to get to one of the parking facilities. It was very late, almost for time for the event to begin and I was simply stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. By the time I found a spot and began my walk, it was 25-minutes into the event and I didn't want to disrupt things by trying to find my family amongst all those people.

So headed on foot to wait outside across the street at Temple Square.

For those not from this area or even familiar with Salt Lake...
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Where to put the stupid tree?

Posted 11-10-2010 at 12:55 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Last weekend I found myself driving on a blazing trip to California so my wife could attend to the business of a family medical emergency. I tried to fly her out there but a last minute deal on a one hour flight was more than $1000 so I put her in the car and literally dropped her off at her mother's house and turned around and came back.

This kind of thing was no big deal for the kids as I have left them home alone before, especially since my 24 year old daughter had no work committments for the weekend. As I was literally going out the door -- kids somewhat in shock over the sudden-ness of it all -- I told them if they wanted they could put up the Christmas tree in my absence.

It was a stormy weekend, they would be inside most of the time and it was an activity I felt would keep them happily occupied.


Our main living room -- where the tree has to go -- is very inflexible. It is rectangular in shape, has a large picture...
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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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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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