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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
My Merry Christmas All things relating to MMC.
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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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...
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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...
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Old

Christmas in New York with Jay

Posted 09-04-2010 at 03:36 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)



My wife and I are on vacation, just winding up things here in New York City before we head home tomorrow. Today we disembarked from the cruise ship and there to pick us up was JayIsh, our designated driver from all points in Brooklyn and, of course, our programming director at Merry Christmas Radio.

Two years ago Jay and I met for the first time after years of associating together here on MMC. It was a thrill then and a thrill again today.

This is the second time Jay has done this for us. In fact, I think I'll make it a point, every time I visit the New York area, to have Jay drive us around. He is just a joy and a delight to be with.

He took us to a local Christmas shop, where we kicked tires (ornaments?) and talked business here for a while. But really it was a choice couple of hours to just visit and get to know each other better.
...
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Old

Christmas Kin

Posted 08-29-2010 at 06:56 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 08-29-2010 at 06:59 PM by Jeff Westover



The brilliant sun-kissed afternoon of a summer’s day in swanky Newport, Rhode Island is hardly the backdrop you would imagine for the latest chapter in an ongoing Christmas story.

It happened today, the first full day of a cruise my wife and I are on up the New England coastline. As the early evening approaches and we are now “out at sea”, swaying gently back and forth as we move on now to Boston, I am feeling a sense of Christmas not commonly felt outside of Christmas Eve itself.
Today was the day and Newport was the place where I finally met an old and dear friend I had up to that point only known online, a relationship born right here on My Merry Christmas.

The only downside I can see to running a community on the Internet is the fact that I may never get to actually meet, face to face, those I share Christmas with. But there are a few like-minded...
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