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Long-winded Christmas musings and observations in operating My Merry Christmas.
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How to Throw a Christmas Party for the World

Posted 07-21-2011 at 07:44 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I was at the grocery store the other day when I bumped into a neighbor. We got to talking and he finally asked me, "So, what's with this Christmas thing you do?"

I had to chuckle to myself. For all the years we been building My Merry Christmas online I haven't been the most active person offline in promoting it.

I don't know why.

I'm just a shy person by nature and I'm not the type to walk into a room and say "look at me!".

As a neighbor I just go about my business, going to work every day, attending church on weekends, trying to mow the lawn frequently enough so that the neighbors don't think my wife does all the yard work (I fail, she does nearly all the yard work) and if there is an identity we have in our neighborhood it is that we have the largest family around, each kid being a character of some sort.

I'm a background kind of guy, a potted plant. I'm around...
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My Merry Christmas Founder and Chief Light Stringer of the Merry Forums
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Christmas Countdown - 2011

Posted 07-07-2011 at 05:56 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I should have blogged this instead of being so long winded in the Countdown thread. What I dork I am sometimes.

As a footnote to this I would just note that I find the day after the Fourth of July to be kind of like the day after Christmas. We spend some time cleaning up the sad remains of a good time and contemplating how long it will be tell it comes around again.

Of course, unlike Christmas, in Utah we get TWO Fourth of July holidays -- there's the 4th and then the 24th of July, which is called Pioneer Day here in Utah, commemorating the arrival in the valley of the Mormon Pioneers on July 24th, 1847.

What else is there to do on the 24th besides BBQ, fireworks and water fights? Well, there's the parade, the biggest in America, featuring pioneer and cowboy themed floats from all over the valley.

For me though there is just one Fourth of July, just as there is just one Christmas.

I know folks who celebrate...
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20 Years, Baby, 20 Years

Posted 05-24-2011 at 12:41 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I was at dinner the other night and had a rare opportunity to advise my 21-year old nephew.

As he approaches his college graduation he is, as many often are, lost in terms of what to do next. It is not as if jobs are falling off of trees and after years of pouring it to the coals to get through school he wants a change but just isn't quite ready to declare what he wants to be when he grows up.

That makes him absolutely normal, by the way. And I told him so. I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

But I did give him this advice: never, ever trust an employer -- and always have something on the side to do. Something you can call your own.

"Oh?" he said. "You mean like that Christmas thing you've been doing the last couple of years?"

My sister -- his mother -- chortled a bit. I gently reminded him that I've been doing this "Christmas thing" for 20 years now.

He gave me a blank stare....
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My Merry Christmas Founder and Chief Light Stringer of the Merry Forums
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Of Fear and Faith

Posted 05-21-2011 at 06:56 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

I'm in Denver this weekend for a family wedding - always a moment of great hope and happiness.

I am without my bride, an unusual thing, and one cannot help but reflect back on more than two decades of togetherness while at an event like this.

Parenthetically, the world is scheduled to end today. A group of folks has spent considerable resources the past six months or so telling the world that it all ends on May 21st, 2011...at 6:00pm, no less.

I'm not one to be critical of any faith and I think folks should believe what they want in their hearts to believe. I like the idea of embracing truth wherever it is found.

But I see a consequence for things like this. My conduit with the world is right here, in the unsolicited emails we get from worried or needful folks or in the mail that Santa receives from believers of all ages.

And this week we have received a few emails from folks concerned that we've seen our last Christmas....
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Old

Home

Posted 05-15-2011 at 03:27 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Late last night my girls came home.

They left ten days ago, my 25-year old, Aubree, at the wheel of her 15-year old Honda with 160,000 miles on it. Her two teen sisters -- Allie, age 15 and Maggie, age 13 -- providing navigation and good humor all the way.

They left as a birthday/Mother's Day surprise for their grandmother, living some 700 miles away in California.

Was I nuts? How could I allow such a foolish thing to happen? Sending three young women alone across the wilds of Nevada with miles of lonely road where anything could go wrong.

Years ago I made the same trip many times in my little Dodge Colt. Alone. Often on short sleep. And every time with little money in my pocket. Back in those days I could make the drive from Utah to California for $30 one way and more than once I left Friday after work just to see my Mom for a little while before heading back on a Sunday morning. Ten hours -- if lucky and I pushed it -- was...
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My Merry Christmas Founder and Chief Light Stringer of the Merry Forums
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