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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
Christmas Online For blogs centered on the cbyer-Christmas.
Old

A Year of Tradition Being Born

Posted 12-13-2011 at 01:35 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Last spring when we first started getting serious about what we could do to celebrate our 20th anniversary we brainstormed a lot of different things.

It is interesting to me to look back now and consider how some of those ideas came to pass this year and how I think we've started some new traditions.

Consider the gift exchange, for example. We've never done a gift exchange before. I've wanted to but have never really been able to come up with an idea that would make it feasible. Then one night it hit me: just don't tell anyone who sent the gift and just don't tell anyone where their gift is going. Let it all be a surprise on Christmas morning.

What is happening right now, as we speak, is that little gifts are flying around the world in this unknown fashion and on Christmas Day we'll find out what happened. There are not a ton of people in the exchange but when the rest of the MMC world hears about this I'm sure next years exchange will hit...
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Old

Passing the Black Friday Torch

Posted 11-25-2011 at 11:54 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 11-25-2011 at 11:56 PM by Jeff Westover

With every passing day I'm becoming Archie Bunker.

(I said that to my kids once and they said Who?).

I'm grumpy, I'm opinionated, I'm resistant to change and I tend to wax longingly for the past.

At Thanksgiving dinnner my older teenager children eagerly detailed their plans for Black Friday. Try as I might to get them to My Merry Christmas I'm unsuccessful and they had no real idea that Black Friday as they used to know it is no longer.

In years past I was content to get the kids up at 4am and head out the door with them to do some people watching and to go out to breakfast somewhere. I used to think that as a Dad that made me hip.

But this year when the retailers crossed the threshold of midnight on Thursday to start their sales I put my foot down. I'll do 4am. But midnight? No way.

Besides, we've long past the point where the main reason I went was because I had a drivers license. I've got...
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Old

Thanks, You Turkeys

Posted 11-23-2011 at 12:02 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Every once in a while I'm impressed with myself. That's a guy thing too many of us get trapped in even when we're younger and usually it has to do with our looks, our cars or some sport team we don't own or play on.

But at my age I'm down to just ideas and this idea of having folks call in with their gobbles for Thanksgiving is sheer brilliance.

It is just so MMC, you know?

This week is **busy** and I'm up to my neck with contacts who for whatever reason wait until the week of Thanksgiving to say "Hey, we want to post about our new album on your site" or "Review my book please" or "I lost my password".

I'm like everybody else. At this time of year I want to enjoy my holidays and here that would be writnig articles, doing podcasts and making videos.

The work of the season is something I love but as we get bigger there are just so many things little things I have to tend to that take up time but just have to be...
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My Merry Christmas Founder and Chief Light Stringer of the Merry Forums
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Old

How to Throw a Christmas Party for the World

Posted 07-21-2011 at 07:44 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I was at the grocery store the other day when I bumped into a neighbor. We got to talking and he finally asked me, "So, what's with this Christmas thing you do?"

I had to chuckle to myself. For all the years we been building My Merry Christmas online I haven't been the most active person offline in promoting it.

I don't know why.

I'm just a shy person by nature and I'm not the type to walk into a room and say "look at me!".

As a neighbor I just go about my business, going to work every day, attending church on weekends, trying to mow the lawn frequently enough so that the neighbors don't think my wife does all the yard work (I fail, she does nearly all the yard work) and if there is an identity we have in our neighborhood it is that we have the largest family around, each kid being a character of some sort.

I'm a background kind of guy, a potted plant. I'm around...
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Old

Your Website Changed My Life, Man

Posted 05-14-2011 at 01:26 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I fired a guy recently.

I've been doing that a lot in conjunction with a new job I've taken. I was hoping to make my living on my websites and another business we own but we suffer from the classic dilemma of every small business: do you continue to work or do you eat?

That, and the fact that we're woefully under-capitalized, keeps our efforts here modest.

And that's ok. We were born on a shoe-string and that frugality, actually, is what keeps us around.

So I've taken this job and I've been given responsibility for a business that was totally neglected and is burning out of control. So, I've been cleaning things up, hiring and firing, as these things go.

And last week I fired a guy who knew who I am.

"I Googled you," he told me. "You're the Christmas dude. You run My Merry Christmas."

It didn't help his case.

But it did remind me of how far and wide the influence...
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