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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

Christmas Hot, Christmas Cold

Posted 12-03-2010 at 07:01 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 12-03-2010 at 07:05 PM by Jeff Westover

I swore that one of these days I would post on this blog during the first week of December.

It might be considered a bit of a frivolous thing but honestly there is little time for much of anything for me during this time of the year.

Things are about as white-hot as they come.

You can blame it on the seasonality of it all -- for the rest of the world. While we pay attention to Christmas year round here and a great many do with us the vast masses "out there" do not and when they come around right after Thanksgiving they overwhelm us.

Case in point -- last month at this time I was receiving about 200 different pieces of email, private messages and phone calls a day all associated with MMC in some way. And that's a high, high level compared to our low for the year in April, when I get maybe a dozen a day.

This week, it is between 3000 and 4000 per day.

Seriously.

And they run the gamut....
Jeff Westover's Avatar
My Merry Christmas Founder and Chief Light Stringer of the Merry Forums
Views 1056 Comments 2 Jeff Westover is online now
Old

What the Skeptics Don't Get About Thanksgiving and Christmas

Posted 11-20-2010 at 12:13 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Jim Early starts to hang his Christmas lights in September. He turns them on the night after Halloween. And without fail every year the reactions are the same. Neighbors on all sides of him gather for the lighting ceremony, as they have for years in the sleepy Northern California town of Grass Valley. But just as the jolly traditions of Santa, elves, eggnog and stockings are a tradition of the season so too are some Scrooge-like traditions that just have to come up every year.

“There is a guy on a local radio station who picks the day after Halloween every year to complain about the creep of Christmas,” Jim says. “He doesn’t want to see decoration for sale in the stores, he can’t stand to hear Christmas music on the radio in November and he picks on me every year for firing up my Christmas display right after Halloween. It has become tradition.”
He’s right.

There is a preponderance of folks all over who detest the early manifestations of the season....
Jeff Westover's Avatar
My Merry Christmas Founder and Chief Light Stringer of the Merry Forums
Views 1388 Comments 0 Jeff Westover is online now
Old

Just What Exactly is the Christmas Spirit?

Posted 10-06-2010 at 01:03 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Every time I send out a new newsletter I hold my breath. Over the years, the Merry News has grown to 50,000 subscribers.

I am always a little shocked at some of the feedback we receive when we send that many emails out. The sheer number, of course, means there will be work to do. You can't cram thousands of people into a building without having the bathrooms ready, you know? Even still, I get surprised at how some people respond.

The software we're using tells me where a subscriber came from -- their IP address, their approximate physical location, the website they subscribed from, the time, date and even browser they were using when they signed up. I see all that. So when they write the darndest things I just have to laugh.

Some, of course, claim they never subscribed at all and would YOU GUYS QUIT SPAMMING ME ALL THE TIME! (This was just our 2nd newsletter since last Christmas). Sigh.

Others will write: What are you talking...
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My Merry Christmas Founder and Chief Light Stringer of the Merry Forums
Views 711 Comments 0 Jeff Westover is online now
Old

A Sense of History

Posted 10-05-2010 at 02:52 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I do not feel as old as I sound. And I'm NOT as old as I sound, I suppose. But when you start throwing terms around like "history" and "20th anniversary" you tend to sound a bit, well, old.

But next week we start our 20th year of publishing Christmas.

Now, I know I've told the story over and over. But let me qualify that statement for those who haven't read it or heard it before: When I met my wife she came with a bonus: a five year old little girl who would become my eldest daughter. She didn't believe in Santa. We enlisted the help of Elf Ernest that first fall and Christmas together to teach her about Santa and to answer her questions about Christmas. These came in the way of Santa Updates, over a fax machine. Those faxes she passed to her friends, whose parents called us wanting the faxes too. That grew from a handful to dozens to hundreds -- which eventually pushed us to the Internet. And here we are today -- 20 years later, still doing it, still celebrating...
Jeff Westover's Avatar
My Merry Christmas Founder and Chief Light Stringer of the Merry Forums
Views 1174 Comments 4 Jeff Westover is online now
Old

When the Dog Bites

Posted 09-09-2010 at 08:21 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I should write a book about the correspondence I receive through My Merry Christmas.

Most of it is kind-hearted. Christmas blesses the lives of many because it is so easy to share. And that is why, I think, many people reach out to say things when they see something on these pages.

But occasionally I get snarling, nasty emails from folks.

You would think they would bring it to the pages of the forums. But honestly, they are almost always cloaked in the anonymity of the Internet. Most are submitted without real names or returnable email addresses. They simply rage and disappear, content I suppose in knowing that they told me.

Their complaints run the gamut:

"Your site is too Christian!"

"Santa is a fraud (and so are you!)"

"Hell has a spot reserved for sick weirdos who put up websites like this."

"Christmas, like religion, is just a virus of the mind."

"Why you...
Jeff Westover's Avatar
My Merry Christmas Founder and Chief Light Stringer of the Merry Forums
Views 995 Comments 2 Jeff Westover is online now

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