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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.
The Best of Christmas Sitcoms
My top favorite Christmas Sitcoms: All from M*A*S*H , Happy Days, Laverne and Shirley. Step By Step - I'll Be Home For Christmas
His Name is Bud
love this story! Thanks for sharing your memories.
The Best of Christmas Sitcoms
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I will do that fresh cut of the trunk.....that was my problem last Christmas.....the tree lost so many needles....even tho it was fresh....the problem was....since I didn´t cut the trunk....the tree...
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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
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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The Great Mothers of Christmas

Posted 05-08-2011 at 08:25 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Mother's Day should be a big milestone in the countdown to Christmas. After all, what would the story of Christmas be without mothers? In all of Christmas history -- both fact and fiction -- Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without them.

Who could deny Mary, the mother of the Christ, her place? Chosen amongst women she had a front row seat for the whole ministry of the Savior. Can her influence be doubted? And could the love of her Son have been more tender?

Mary has always had a special place in my heart because of her humanity.

She enters the story not as a woman but as a girl -- a chosen individual called to a sacred purpose. She had to know she would face heartbreak and trial in accepting that role.

Mentoring her was the wise Elizabeth, a study of pure joy not only at the calling of Mary and the One she carried but also at the blessing of her own Motherhood. Here she was a barren woman, denied children until visited...
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Turn Around Day

Posted 05-05-2011 at 08:46 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I've been up to my neck in Christmas and here it is just Cinco de Mayo. Such is the life of running a Christmas website.

As I work on one side to develop a broad plan for Christmas 2011 in lining writers, working on editorial calendars, recording podcasts and such I keep one eye on the statistics of our web visitors.

Every day this time of year we face dwindling numbers.

That is, until we reach turn around day.

Turn Around Day is the day the numbers stop shrinking and start growing. I'm convinced it is something completely unique to running a seasonal website.

Right after Valentine's Day our number really start to go down. Fewer and fewer people come to the site. It is almost as if there is holiday fatigue by that point and folks just want to feel the warmth of spring.

We provide our own brand of warmth, of course, but is more of the cozy kind rather than the kind requiring sunscreen. And when...
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Cheering a Death

Posted 05-02-2011 at 08:10 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

The galvanizing moments of the morning of September 11th are never to be forgotten. I remember well just exactly where I was standing when I saw the first images and what my immediate thoughts were.

The same can be said of last night when word was received that the mastermind of 9/11, Osama bin Laden, was reported to have been killed by American forces in Pakistan.

My immediate, knee-jerk response was one of joy. The monster is finally gone.

I thought first of my friend, Robert, who was in the World Trade Center.

Like many of you, I never officially met Robert. I knew him only online but I had known him for a number of years. We were two adults playing a kid's game and we did it 9 months out of the year together. In playing fantasy baseball we competed against each other, trading players and giving each other a hard time. During the year we would exchange emails and occasionally we'd share other things about our lives. At...
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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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