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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.
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His Name is Bud
love this story! Thanks for sharing your memories.
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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
My Merry Christmas All things relating to MMC.
Old

Piles of Christmas

Posted 08-31-2011 at 10:41 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

We work on Christmas year round. We plan our site features and do our upgrades during the "off" season. Of course, to us and to many of you who even venture so far as to read MMC blogs, we're here everyday and we celebrate Christmas every day.

But we know that come Labor Day we are pretty much done for the year with any kind of major remodel work or big projects. From Labor Day through Christmas Eve we roll out all the big projects we've been working on but for the most part the real work of that is all done.

Except for one thing -- and that's what the rest of the world is working on for Christmas.

Try as we might we just can't seem to get folks to tell us what they have coming out for Christmas until this time of the year. And this week it really started in earnest as book publishers, website operators, musicians and movie studios are all contacting us to see if they can share with the community here what they've got coming out.
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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

20 Years, Baby, 20 Years

Posted 05-24-2011 at 12:41 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I was at dinner the other night and had a rare opportunity to advise my 21-year old nephew.

As he approaches his college graduation he is, as many often are, lost in terms of what to do next. It is not as if jobs are falling off of trees and after years of pouring it to the coals to get through school he wants a change but just isn't quite ready to declare what he wants to be when he grows up.

That makes him absolutely normal, by the way. And I told him so. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

But I did give him this advice: never, ever trust an employer -- and always have something on the side to do. Something you can call your own.

"Oh?" he said. "You mean like that Christmas thing you've been doing the last couple of years?"

My sister -- his mother -- chortled a bit. I gently reminded him that I've been doing this "Christmas thing" for 20 years now.

He gave me a blank stare....
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My Merry Christmas Founder and Chief Light Stringer of the Merry Forums
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Old

Of Fear and Faith

Posted 05-21-2011 at 06:56 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I'm in Denver this weekend for a family wedding - always a moment of great hope and happiness.

I am without my bride, an unusual thing, and one cannot help but reflect back on more than two decades of togetherness while at an event like this.

Parenthetically, the world is scheduled to end today. A group of folks has spent considerable resources the past six months or so telling the world that it all ends on May 21st, 2011...at 6:00pm, no less.

I'm not one to be critical of any faith and I think folks should believe what they want in their hearts to believe. I like the idea of embracing truth wherever it is found.

But I see a consequence for things like this. My conduit with the world is right here, in the unsolicited emails we get from worried or needful folks or in the mail that Santa receives from believers of all ages.

And this week we have received a few emails from folks concerned that we've seen our last Christmas....
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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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My Merry Christmas Founder and Chief Light Stringer of the Merry Forums
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