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

All Christmas All the Time: Can it be done?

Posted 06-17-2010 at 10:00 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 07-26-2010 at 09:01 PM by Jeff Westover

In early May, the Great Recession knocked on my door and now I am numbered with the unemployed.

As I take stock of my situation and the world at large it has become clear that even as a man in his mid-40's I have fewer career options than ever. For a long time, as I've noted here and in my personal blog, I've operated this and a number of other websites on the side. I've kept them in my back pocket dreaming that maybe one day -- once the kids are settled - I could just hang out here where the walls bleed Christmas full time as my job.

That dream day has been envisioned as one where I was sitting on a pile of retirement money in a little cabin in the mountains where my bride and I could enjoy the grandkids while explaining to them that this is what Grandpa does for a living -- My Merry Christmas.com.

Things aren't turning out quite that way.

I know there is no chance of replacing the job I just lost. I know there is no way life...
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Old

Christmas in July -- in My World

Posted 07-12-2009 at 09:13 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 07-12-2009 at 09:16 PM by Jeff Westover

I teach a Sunday School class for 13 and 14 year olds at Church and today their lesson was on trials, weaknesses and humility.

I asked them a question that gave them pause -- "Tell me about a time when you experienced a trial -- What has been your greatest challenge?"

I think being a kid today is more of a challenge than ever. With drugs, pornography, a relentless assault upon the senses by technology and the pressures of mere conformity in an eroding society has kids feeling pressure like no other generation in the past.

Locally we have dealt with serious issues such as suicide, anorexia and prescription drug abuse amongst kids this age so I honestly felt like I asked a question that should have been easy to answer.

But they struggled with the question and candidly told me they just had nothing to compare in their experience with the trials of their parents and grandparents.

Still more surprising to me was the admission...
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Old

The Sweetest Gift

Posted 12-22-2008 at 08:17 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Traveling home from a business trip on December 19th is never fun. I've done it before and I've sworn I'd never do it again. But duty called and there I found myself on a Friday night waiting at the airport as weather across the country scrambled my chances of getting home on the weekend before Christmas 2008.

The Southwest terminal in Los Angeles is a bit of a gritty place. Always busy, it was packed with holiday travellers bound for all points east -- and no one was going anywhere.

I was there for more than 5 hours. Finally our plane arrived but we had to wait an additional hour for a crew to arrive to man it. After midnight -- officially Saturday now - we finally boarded, packed in like sardines, pushed away from the gate only to sit on the tarmac for some reason for 45 minutes.

My flight was only about 1 hour and 20 minutes. I was more than 8 hours now into my nightmare.

The flight itself was uneventful. All were too tired...
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Old

What is in the box?

Posted 10-14-2008 at 08:53 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I have been adjusting to a major job shift since June. It has me traveling a lot more. Since the end of May I have had just one full week at home. Tonight I write via laptop from Los Angeles.

My wife tells me that today we received a big box in the mail addressed to me.

That's very strange.

Like most traveling family guys I'm sometimes a stranger in my own home. When the phone rings it is never for me (I have teenagers).

My wife handles the bills and I rarely see anything from the mail box.

Our eldest daughter has long moved out but all her junk mail comes to my house. She gets more than I do.

So the receipt of the box today is unusual.

In the past my company had occasion to send things to my house. But that was when I didn't have a staffed office.

I've now got offices in Salt Lake City, Anaheim and San Francisco. If the company had mail, they wouldn't send it to my house...
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Old

Christmas Out There

Posted 09-14-2008 at 05:10 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

A week ago my wife and I returned from a rare kind of vacation. We took it alone -- just the two of us.

As parents to seven children there hasn't been much "just the two of us" time. We find it important to have a date night once a week and every now and then just steal away together.

But this trip was something special. We traveled from Utah to New York state, where we explored for four days before heading off on a cruise to Canada and New England.

This destination had no special meaning to us other than a promise of cooler weather, plenty of historic sights to see and, of course, the potential for scouting of some unusual Christmas shops.

We like to find the small, out-of-the-way Christmas shops.

I think just about any true lover of Christmas out there harbors a fantasy of owning a Christmas shop. I know I do. I have a career of retail experience, know just a little about Christmas and have plenty ideas of how...
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