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General Christmas For blogs talking about all things Christmas.
Old

A Gift of Mom and Tender Mercies

Posted 12-22-2013 at 09:12 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 12-22-2013 at 09:36 PM by Jeff Westover

My Christmas happened today.

We had in my home today an event not understood much outside of my faith. But it is a big deal for parents and I've been working for months to have my parents here for it.

As you are well aware we have been through a difficult time these past several months with my mother's declining health.

So to have her here today for this event, in my home and amongst my children, smiling and laughing, relishing her role as mother and grandmother, doing something a Mom in the Mormon faith does and deserves -- well, it was a thrill beyond words and Christmas to me like none other this year.

It is, frankly, a miracle.

Mom's health situation is as fluid as ever and what was true before is true now: it is literally day to day.

I knew back in August we were going to do this and I had to put off folks from my Church several times because either my parents could not make it or I could not make...
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Old

If You Gotta Do A Sequel to It's a Wonderful Life

Posted 11-18-2013 at 05:11 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

The Christmas news of the day is the announcement that a sequel will be made of It's a Wonderful Life and will feature some of the child actors who played the Bailey kids in the original.

My instant reaction to this was NOT good.

Sequels don't have a great history of success. Christmas sequels have an even worse reputation.

And it isn't like It's a Wonderful Life hasn't been remade before. Remember how awful the Marlo Thomas version was?

There are several dangerous elements to this project.

First, and foremost, there is the story. It must be remembered that when It's a Wonderful Life first hit theaters it was a flop. It was nominated for Academy awards but this was at a time when studios put out a fraction of films per year compared to what they do now. This story wasn't compelling and the time and the film went into to cold storage for so long its copyright expired which freed it up to get massive amounts of late-night...
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Old

A Little April Fool's in November

Posted 11-03-2013 at 06:05 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Some people will believe anything.

Today on Facebook, on a whim brought on only by a late Saturday night and an early Sunday morning, I posted this snippet:

Did you know that on this date in history the first artificial Christmas tree was found off the coast of Siliconia in 1855? Artificial Christmas trees became an American tradition when Woolworths began selling them to gypsies out of the back of a wagon in 1887.

That snippet came from the draft of a script I wrote more than two years ago. When I research a topic I will put a placeholder in italics and red colored text until I can find the "fact" I seek and replace it.

I must have been in a goofy mood or something when I wrote that and I found it funny this morning, so I just copied and pasted it as a Facebook status expecting somebody to speak up about the absurdity of artificial Christmas trees being "discovered".

To my surprise, within a few minutes the comment...
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Old

Smile, Though Your Heart is Breaking

Posted 10-26-2013 at 11:28 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)
Updated 10-26-2013 at 11:34 PM by Jeff Westover

My mother is dying.

It has taken me a lot to get to the point where I admit that.

I have written about her a great deal but here and on my personal site over the course of the last several years. Her journey has been a long one.

Over the past two months Mom has been in several hospitals and through two stints in a rehab facility. At every step of the way she has done nothing but decline.

Her health issues are complex and it seems trite now to boil it all down to dementia.

But dementia is not a cause of death...it is a symptom of winding down, of saying goodbye.

Recognizing all this is what leads me to admit that Mom is leaving us, and likely soon.

As a person of faith I am not uncomfortable with the concept of death. As we've explored together a bit this year with losing Louann how we deal with death is something individual to us all.

But as Mother dims for me I cannot help but...
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Old

Labor Day Weekend 2014

Posted 08-30-2013 at 03:47 PM by bigbearfla58
Updated 02-22-2014 at 02:23 PM by bigbearfla58 (Updates for Thanksgiving 2014)

Friday August 30, 2013 5:44 p.m. I just wanted to take out time today to wish everyone a very Happy Labor Day Weekend and holiday season yet to come.

I also have one new to me holiday treat to share with all of you.

1. My Grandma's Coffee Cake

I am sure some of you know of My Grandma's from QVC or your local markets. I just found this cake and its the best. Log onto MY Grandmas and find a store in your hometown.

2. We Take The Cake Key Lime Bundt Cake

This cake was featured as one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2003.

3. The Christmas Palace has Christmas every day of the year I love this store.

I love living here in South FL as all three of these places are in my back yard.

This is Labor Day Weekend 2014 now it's time to start my Thanksgiving preparations. This weekend I will be checking out the pantry and re-seasoning my cast iron skillet getting it ready for Thanksgiving.
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