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

A Simple Tradition of Love

Posted 11-12-2009 at 11:15 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

In the wee hours of New Year's Day a thread was begun that started again a cycle of unbroken tradition that began on another site years ago. It is a simple, joyous tradition -- celebrated daily, a habit for many. We call it the Christmas Countdown.

Tonight, that thread surpassed 6800 posts in an ongoing conversation amongst a diverse group of Christmas lovers.

Started years ago on a now defunct forum many of the original posters who were there then are here now -- counting down to this unofficial "official" start of the Christmas season, November 13th.

Like New Year's Eve, tonight they counted down the hours and minutes together. And tomorrow the countdown to Christmas 2009 continues -- in the same thread, in the same happy tradition that will no doubt begin again once the New Year is noted yet again.

Like so many great Christmas traditions what makes this one special is that it is shared. Folks just come together. From wherever...
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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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Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Black Friday Indeed

Posted 11-29-2008 at 12:09 PM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

For years I've been one of the masses who descend upon stores on Black Friday.

I rarely, if ever, made a purchase.

My purpose in venturing out has been to visit those employees I have who draw the unlucky assignment to work in malls opening as early as midnight and to merely people-watch. I always considered it more of a professional endeavor than a personal outing. I wanted to see what the consumer was going to do for Christmas and Black Friday has never failed to deliver for me.

In years past, I have been amused mostly by the crowds on Black Friday.

A few years back one of my stores had to open at 12:01 a.m. because the mall was having a "Shop til you Drop" promotion that had stores open for nearly 24 hours the day after Thanksgiving.

That event, widely advertised on radio and television here locally in Utah, brought almost 10,000 to one single mall. It took more than 45 minutes for me to walk -- shoulder to shoulder...
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Old

What Was in The Box

Posted 11-08-2008 at 10:04 AM by Jeff Westover (A Merry Blog)

Ok, I've been hounded about this and negligent in my duties in telling the rest of the story...last I blogged I told of receiving a mystery box while out of town.

When I got home I had no sooner dragged my luggage through the door before my kids took me by the hand to my chair in the living room. My youngest daughters pushed this rather large box towards my feet and my son handed me his pocket knife.

"Open it!"

Inside was the most curious Christmas decoration we have ever seen -- a large, heavy Christmas tree made entirely of sea shells, complete with a star-fish topper.

Plug it in and it lights up.

With it was an ornament (which will go on this year's tree) and a wonderful handmade card -- all from the members of Christmas Talk.

Suddenly my 16 year old daughter blurted out "Dad got a major award!"

I could not have been more surprised.

Thanks go out to our fellow Christmas...
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