Christmas Idea Peace of Christmas

Jeff Westover

Chief Elf Officer
MMC Founder
Santa's Elf
Kringle Radio DJ
Oct 7, 2004
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Cache Valley, Utah
jeffwestover.com
Yesterday, and indeed the past week, have just been a brutal time. I normally don't like to bring the news of the world up here but I feel with all going on we just have to do something.

I live about 100 miles north of Salt Lake City. Five of our adult children live in Salt Lake and two of my daughters specifically work in downtown Salt Lake. As things got worse on Friday I messaged my kids late that night warning them of riots scheduled for Saturday (I read about them on Twitter). Both of my girls were scheduled to work Saturday.

By the time things got started Saturday morning the workplace of one daughter -- a store at the large downtown mall called City Creek -- had decided it would be best not to open. She ended up staying at home with my eldest daughter, who has a place right there in downtown.

But my other daughter had to work -- she's a server at The Cheesecake Factory, also at City Creek.

As things took a turn in the afternoon I texted her at work, something I never do, asking her to leave.

It put her into a terrible position with her boss, who for some inexplicable reason did not see any danger in the situation. By 5pm the city was announcing a curfew and on Twitter the rumors of the protesters moving on City Creek were widespread.

Long story short, my daughter was finally released from her job in time to rush out of work as the looters were rushing in.

She was quite traumatized.

She too has an apartment near downtown, some six blocks away. Even though she was escorted home in a car of a co-worker it took her 90 harrowing minutes to get home.

For the three hours of this high drama -- Mom and I on the phones, the TV, on Twitter and other social media -- trying to see her home, keep everyone calm and just SICK over all we were witnessing -- I can remember many times thinking back to my many years and connection to the downtown area.

I first arrived there and had my first job in Utah on those very streets. I worked until 2010 in an office right there where two of my children work now.

The violence, the destruction -- the abuse we were seeing the police in Salt Lake take -- were all so very hard to take, despite the message behind the people so upset.

I was up all night Friday night, watching the world burn. Then when it hit home in Salt Lake on Saturday I was up another night, just heartsick about it all.

What can we do? How to we recover from this? How do we move forward? Where is the hope to be found?

There are a million answers to this. I am a firm believer that there are mostly good people in the world. Where else do we see more evidence of that than right here?

We're not going to fix the world on MMC. But we can do our part.

After hours and hours of angst and soul searching I have determined that the message and peace of Christmas is more needed now than ever and that we are in a position to help spread that peace.

As we clean up the mess, as we reach out to heal hearts, as we try to find sense from the senseless, we can do more to spread Christmas and the peace it brings.

I am asking that we do just that by celebrating Christmas. I am hoping you will participate in the things planned in the months ahead and that you will share them with your friends. I am hoping that we will work together in talking the things of peace, joy and goodwill right here. I am hoping that we can share photos of our trees, our children and grandchildren and tell the stories of our families.

I am hoping that we can put out there what we are doing to decorate our homes, to reach out to our neighbors, and to share in all the little things we do wherever we are to bask in the light of the season.

We need a demonstration of joy. We need a riot of goodwill. We need to shout the messages of the Prince of Peace. We need to put on our Santa hats, say our ho-ho-ho's, and watch for Santa to come.

It's approaching June 1st. And we need these things.

I will do all I can to promote these things. They won't solve the problems but they will help those feeling the affects of the real world right now. They will remind folks who are so inflamed in their politics and worries and troubles of what perhaps is really most important.

The opposite of faith is fear. The opposite of peace is war. We need faith and peace. We need Christmas.

I ask you: What more can we do than we are doing to promote the peace of the season? How can we bring others to our merry celebrations? How can we better share what we enjoy with each other?

This is my hope for the next year (or two). I want to bring peace. I want to bring joy. I want to see healing in the hearts of those who are hurting at this time.
 

MerryCarey

A Voice from the North
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It will be a big job, with so many forces fomenting division in our country especially—-but I hope we can find a way to spread the peace and joy that are so desperately needed now and will be needed in the coming months. I don’t have an idea of how to begin, except to pray for guidance.
 

Jeff Westover

Chief Elf Officer
MMC Founder
Santa's Elf
Kringle Radio DJ
Oct 7, 2004
13,687
14,792
1,194,881
Cache Valley, Utah
jeffwestover.com
It will be a big job, no doubt. I am taking heart today at the outpouring of kindness that I am reading about in the news and on social media. There are good people out there everywhere. That gives me hope. Spreading love will not be difficult.
 
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made582

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I’m glad all of your daughters made it home safely, Jeff!!

Things were mostly peaceful Friday night here. Just a few windows broken. Last night it got scary and it was a planned thing. They showed pictures
of organizers going around writing names and phone numbers of lawyers on peoples arms before the violence started. Over 30 businesses had windows smashed. There is graffiti everywhere. Fires were started. 5 people were shot and 2 killed. One person was burned when a Molotov cocktail was thrown into their car. They targeted the malls in the suburbs including trying to set fire to the one 3 miles up the street from me.

Even as the mayor told people to stay away though, there were groups of people showing up this morning with brooms and dust pans to help clean up the glass and plywood to board up the windows. It definitely gives you a sense of hope for the city.

We go under curfew at 8 tonight. All interstate exits leading into the city will be blocked. The National guard is on standby. Hopefully cooler heads prevail.
 

Jeff Westover

Chief Elf Officer
MMC Founder
Santa's Elf
Kringle Radio DJ
Oct 7, 2004
13,687
14,792
1,194,881
Cache Valley, Utah
jeffwestover.com
I’m glad all of your daughters made it home safely, Jeff!!

Things were mostly peaceful Friday night here. Just a few windows broken. Last night it got scary and it was a planned thing. They showed pictures
of organizers going around writing names and phone numbers of lawyers on peoples arms before the violence started. Over 30 businesses had windows smashed. There is graffiti everywhere. Fires were started. 5 people were shot and 2 killed. One person was burned when a Molotov cocktail was thrown into their car. They targeted the malls in the suburbs including trying to set fire to the one 3 miles up the street from me.

Even as the mayor told people to stay away though, there were groups of people showing up this morning with brooms and dust pans to help clean up the glass and plywood to board up the windows. It definitely gives you a sense of hope for the city.

We go under curfew at 8 tonight. All interstate exits leading into the city will be blocked. The National guard is on standby. Hopefully cooler heads prevail.
Yikes. Salt Lake wasn't messing around. The curfew went from 8pm last night until tomorrow morning at 6am. I'm getting reports that they are allowing people into downtown if they want to help clean up, but that's about it.

I thought it interesting that the girls told me "these guys aren't from Salt Lake, Dad". I didn't prompt them on that or anything. It was their clear observation.
 

RadioJonD

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I’m thankful your children are safe, Jeff.

The solace of Christmas is paramount, agreed.

Our town of Cherokee, Alabama, just over one thousand souls is quite. My son and family also live somewhat rural, just outside Tuscumbia, Alabama. My daughter and family live on the outskirts of Huntsville, Alabama which experienced some trouble in the downtown area this weekend.
 

Minta

Charles Dickens' Editor
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Oct 10, 2004
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So sorry you and your family had to deal with that first hand but even more thankful you all are safe. I have been upset over everything that has been happening too. Too much hatred, too much negativity, too much of the masses blindly following a few of the haters and so not enough love, understanding and compassion.

I was thinking this morning how I am so ready for the holidays already and everything that encompasses them. I am ready for Christmas Lights, Christmas Music, Christmas decorations and the feeling of peace, happiness and love that Christmas brings.
 

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