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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
General Christmas For blogs talking about all things Christmas.
Old

What kind of Christmas will 2011 bring?

Posted 04-19-2011 at 07:40 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I received an odd kind of email the other day. Actually, it wasn't odd at all other than the fact that I received it in April.

Being a Christmas venue we frequently get mail from folks looking for a little help. In recent years we have received a lot of this kind of mail. Here is what we received this week:

Dear My Merry Christmas,

My name is Alison and I am 15 years old.

You have been a big part of our Christmas for a few years now. I think this year you will be our whole Christmas.

My mom lost her job last fall and can't find another one. Her unemployment ran out and she had to take a job working in a dry cleaners. My dad hasn't lived with us for five years and does not send money. We barely have any money any more. My sister and I do not complain. I am hoping to get a job this summer to help.

I am just wondering if there are any ideas you have of what we can do. I really want my mom to have
...
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Old

A Long Winter's Nap, Kinda

Posted 01-18-2011 at 01:00 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

It has been an eventful post-Christmas season for me. So unlike years passed. I've been away and I don't like to do that and there are many things around MMC that have been neglected as a result.

Sorry about that.

We took a screaming trip to California for the funeral of Sandy's Grandmother and returned home to Utah to find a crisis in the making at my Mother's house. My sister was in the hospital for a while and we had a few other family health issues that required our attention. Fortunately, all are healthy or will recover. It was just a time period where hands-on assistance was needed and we did what had to be done.

Now we're back home and trying to pick up the pieces.

How hectic has it been?

We had a visit from a neighbor the other night who looked at our still decorated tree and noticed an unopened Christmas present still sitting on the floor way up behind the tree.

"Starting on next Christmas...
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Old

Our Ghost of Christmas Present

Posted 12-27-2010 at 12:36 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Every Christmas Eve, long after the children have gone to bed, he comes. The first thing on Christmas morning the kids look for is whether or not he has been there. They anticipate his coming and have even conspired to catch him in the act.

But they never do.

He is money in the bank. He comes every year.

He is not Santa Claus. He is John, an old friend of mine dating back some 30 years.

Our lives have taken different paths. We became first acquainted as green missionaries attending the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah. We were there for language training, to learn Portuguese. We were both headed we thought for Brazil. Months later, after our group had all kinds of trouble securing government clearance to go to Brazil, we were reassigned to labor in Puerto Rico.

John and I got together once or twice in the year we were in Puerto Rico. But when we returned home around the same time we found each other...
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Old

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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Old

A Christmas Event

Posted 12-17-2010 at 03:24 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

As I type this I have all six of my daughters bunched together in the upstairs bathroom in front of the mirror primping for tonight's big event -- David Archuleta and Michael York with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra on Temple Square's Annual Christmas concert. We'll be attending with about 30,000 other people -- 21k in the main hall and the rest in overflow venues around Temple Square.

This is not the first time we've attended this event. In fact, we're lucky to usually get to go each year. It doesn't matter who the guest artist is, though there seems to be a bigger deal about it this year because of a young pop star. But for us the stars of the show are really members of the Choir, a few of whom we know as neighbors.

But what makes this event special isn't really the event itself, though we love it. It is the fact that we get dressed up and we do it together. All the elements combine to make it festive -- there are lights, the music is superb world-class...
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