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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
Family Life As the title says...
Old

I Know

Posted 04-24-2011 at 07:54 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Tags easter

While my Christmas celebrations are public in a way that few are my Easter celebrations are quite the opposite.

I consider Christmas to be a sacred event, as much as Easter, but for whatever reason Easter is just more personal.

I suppose it is because I think in my heart that while I can help the world understand Christmas I just cannot begin to adequately express my love and understanding of Easter.

It is difficult enough for me to fathom the depth of what really happened that Easter morning. Perhaps the words of the old hymn "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" begins to explain:

I know that my Redeemer lives,
What comfort this sweet sentence gives?
He lives, he lives who once was dead,
He lives, my ever living head!


I know. Two powerful words.

I have here on these pages explained the very human story surrounding those individuals involved in Jesus' birth.

It...
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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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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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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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Have you ever really read A Christmas Carol???

Posted 12-15-2010 at 11:06 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

My 20-hour days of December usually end with a few moments with a good book. This year I have dedicated my December reading to A Christmas Carol.

I love Dickens but must admit to never having spent much time on the text of A Christmas Carol because I knew the story so well, thanks to all the movie versions I grew up with.

But having put about a week into now I have to tell you: READ IT.

A few weeks ago as a family we were discussing how we could do a few things different this year and one of the ideas that came up was an expansion upon our tradition of acting out the Nativity story as read in Luke 2. We do that every year and will do that this year, too:



But we thought it would be some fun to try something a little more complex and with a few more characters. Beyond the lessons of the story comes the fun of the experience and my kids can be wildly creative....
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