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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
Old

Remembering Christmas Past -- Way Past

Posted 01-10-2013 at 09:45 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 01-10-2013 at 09:57 PM by Jeff Westover

Pictured to the right is a baby picture of me -- about two months old just before Christmas of 1963.

I do not remember this picture being taken.

It is part of a large project that I started a couple of years ago for the celebration of my parent's 50th wedding anniversary.

My Dad was kind of a photo nut growing up. When I was a kid we had our own darkroom and I can admit to spending many, many happy hours in my teens there in the dark developing my own pictures, slides and enlargements as a photo hobbyist in the late 70s and early 80s.

My Dad understood then that one of the secrets to good photography is to shoot a lot of pictures.

Unfortunately, time and technology changes and the process of archiving all these fading images takes some learning. But I've been doing it for two years straight now and I have years and years of photo finishing industry experience...
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Old

The January Christmas Fan

Posted 01-05-2013 at 08:59 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

January, believe it or not, is one of our most active months of the year.

There are basically three types of Christmas fans online: the December Christmas fan, the year round celebrant and the wanna-be year round celebrant, or, as I like to call them, the January Christmas fan.

The December Christmas fan is the most common. These are folks who love Christmas and celebrate it heartily in December. But once Christmas is over, it's over and we won't see them again until next Christmas.

The year round Christmas fan we know well. These are folks who aren't shy about anything Christmas at any time.

Then there is the January Christmas Fan, a fascinating group of Christmas enthusiasts who are too busy in December with their Christmas to be here, so they show up in January, like the life of the party who shows up late.

We get a lot of feedback from January Christmas fans. And I want them to know we appreciate it.

...
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Old

Channeling George Bailey

Posted 12-28-2012 at 05:15 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

We are slow to give up Christmas in my house. I've never much understood those folks who kick their Christmas tree to the curb on Christmas night (well, unless it is a fire hazard). So we saw nothing wrong with watching It's a Wonderful Life last night, two days after Christmas.

The week of Christmas is always a week I enjoy. Maybe it is because the pressure is off and I can actually enjoy the spontaneous bit of Christmas I missed earlier in the month. But it is also a time of reflection and planning ahead. Many people consider that a New Year's activity. But for me and what I do, it is definitely part of my Christmas routine. My whole year's to-do list for MMC begins with the big ideas of this week, while the experience of the season is still fresh in my mind.

But this year there was a bit of melancholy to my routine. We did not have our best season here at MMC. There are a lot of reasons for that and if I had to assess "blame" it would be on my personal family...
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Old

Babies

Posted 12-16-2012 at 03:50 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

These have been thought provoking days. Since hearing the news of the shootings in Connecticut I have been so very unsettled and troubled in spirit. How can you not be?

We knew this would be a big Christmas weekend for us. We spent the day on Friday with my Mother, who has been in poor health for some time. Mom just wanted a little Christmas spirit in her home and wanted the air filled with the aroma of baking. So we set aside the afternoon to sit with her, me with the old photo albums while my wife set out to bake cranberry/orange bread and chocolate crinkle cookies.

My daughter Maggie turns 15 this weekend as well and it was her desire to spend the night with her big sister, who still lives in Salt Lake City. So we took her down there on our way to see my Mother.

We met up with these two precious daughters later tonight to enjoy one of the great traditions of Christmas we have loved since moving here...
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Old

A Furious Argument Over Stuffing

Posted 11-12-2012 at 02:54 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

We're getting a great kick out of the many whiners out there complaining of Christmas creep. For some reason folks see the Christmas decorations and hear the Christmas music of early November as some kind of slight to Thanksgiving. We don't see it that way. Thanksgiving is just a part of our Christmas.

We're experiencing something different this year. After having worked for years in a way that prevented us from spending any of our holidays with extended family I'm taking vacation time this year and packing up the kids and going over the river and through the woods and through the woods and through the woods (900 miles by car) to Grandmother's house all the way to California for Thanksgiving.

This is a wildly popular branch of the family. The kids get to hang with their cousins and there will, in addition to the great food, be plenty of laughter and tears.

But for as wonderful as this will no doubt be as an event there is a storm of sorts brewing....
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