Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Merry Christmas from Des Moines!

Because I would love to send out a Christmas letter to everyone I've ever met, but I have a husband who'd rather I send out an Christmas eCard instead, I've decided to post our Christmas letter to our blog so everyone can read about what we're doing this month!
Also, it's going to be my New Years Resolution to keep us this blog more than once a year! Now that I've decided not to freelance quite as much, I've got a little more time to keep you updated on the Seitz happenings (aka Jolie, Ella, Cam and Maggie funnies!).

With much love and stuffed stockings...

The Seitz Family
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Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

December is here and we’re starting to celebrate! We love traditions in the Seitz house and we have lots of them that we celebrate all year round. But we wanted to share with you a few that we especially LOVE at Christmastime to make sure you’re in the Christmas spirit.

Often tradition gets a bad reputation because it’s so easy to get caught up in the “have to” and you forget the true reason for doing it in the first place. While we’ve been guilty of that ourselves, our hope is that our “Seitz Family Traditions” help our kids feel like they belong to something special, that we’re all sharing these moments together and they’ll become memories that they will carry with them their whole lives and maybe even continue with their own families when they’re grown. These things that we do each season aren’t necessarily huge events for anyone outside our family, but for us we’ve been anticipating them for days or weeks or months and we can hardly wait for them to get here! So, enjoy reading about what we’ll be doing this month and maybe you’ll find something in there that you’d like to try with your family.

We start off the month of December by creating a “Christmas Calendar”. We begin with a blank calendar page and fill in each day leading up to Christmas with something special that we do as a family. Lots of days it’s something fun and silly like singing Christmas carols, watching a Christmas movie, saying “Merry Christmas” to everyone we see, or drinking hot chocolate in fancy tea cups after dinner. Some days we do good deeds like buying a present for a child in need, being kind to your siblings, or surprising the garbage man with hot coffee in a festive travel mug. (To be completely honest, this didn’t work out as well last year as it has before as he came early and I had just stepped out of the shower. I made Ella, who was completely embarrassed, walk it out to him and he was thoroughly confused and a bit weirded out by this tiny girl handing him a coffee. This year I’ll make sure I shower before 8 a.m. and all will be good!) Other days we go sledding or build a snowman (crossing our fingers that we have snow), do a Christmas craft, or make Christmas cookies with friends. Each day the kids wake up ready to check out what’s on the agenda for today and it’s been a fun way to celebrate the whole month long.

One of the traditions that we love the best is going to pick out our Christmas tree. We’ve been going to the same tree farm for the last 8 years, listening to Christmas music on the way there (our favorite is Bare Naked for the Holidays by the Bare Naked Ladies) and each year we have our picture taken next to the “chosen one” and we leave with candy canes and our Christmas quarter compliments of the Miller Tree FarmJ This sounds so picturesque and you may be wanting to throw up because of its sappiness (no pun intended), but sometimes these trips aren’t as lovely as we plan for them to be. As you know, we have 4 kids, which means that sometimes someone is grouchy (often Scott or I if you can believe it…) and the girls are fighting over which stray branch they’re bringing home to make into a Charlie Brown tree in their room and Cam is sneaking away to turn on the machine that shakes the needles off the trees. Ugh…are you exhausted just reading about it? But in the end, what we remember about that day each year is that we found the perfect tree, we brought it home on top of our van and we decorated it together that night and it was good.

About 5 years ago we wanted to help our kids understand that Christmas is also a time for being generous, so we began our tradition of ringing the Salvation Army bell together. Rather smartly, we chose an indoor bell in the mall near Target where we get popcorn and can use their bathrooms, plus it stays warm and there’s lots of people and it’s mostly fun. I say mostly fun because although it is our goal for it to be a fun evening by getting dressed up in our matching Christmas attire and planning to see Santa afterward, it never fails that by the second hour of bell ringing Scott and I are hissing at the kids through our teeth to get off the dirty floor, sweeping up spilled popcorn, begging the kids to quit fighting over who’s rung the bell the longest, and trying to find out what Maggie has in her mouth and where she found it. But again, at the end of the evening, what we remember is that the passersby’s thought the kids were darling, lots of people put money in the bucket because Cam told them they should, and we’re pretty sure at least one of the twenty pictures of the kids on Santa’s lap that we had to snap from outside Santa’s Christmas confines because we don’t want to pay $20 for a wallet size photo showed everyone smiling, and it was good.

And then there is Christmas Eve. I especially love our Christmas Eve tradition because there is no better way to start off the frenzy and excitement of opening presents from Santa and overflowing stockings with a simple and beautiful reminder of what Christmas is really about. My family sitting together in our church that we love, listening to the story of the Jesus’ birth and singing Silent Night with their candles burning makes me cry every year. My cup runneth over. How proud I am to be the mom of this family and as I glance at my husband, I know he feels the same. We have these four amazing kids that are so healthy and smart and funny and generous and we are so thankful to be blessed like we have been this year and every year. It’s often about this time when our hearts are about to burst with love and joy for this family of ours that we hear the less than quiet argument break out between Jolie and Ella over who’s candle is who’s, realize that Cam is dangerously close to setting the woman’s hair on fire in front of us, and see that Maggie has eaten the wick off her unlit candle.

But (if you don’t already see where I’m going with this) the memory that we’ll keep of Christmas Eve is that we drove home admiring the houses with the best Christmas lights, we set cookies and carrots out for Santa and his crew, and we put the kids to bed so they could wake up at the crack of dawn to open presents and it was good. It’s always good.

So, this holiday we hope you are enjoying the season and celebrating every day. Merry Christmas:)

With much love,

Scott, Jamie, Jolie, Ella, Cameron and Maggie Seitz (and Harper, Elvis and Sam- the pets)

And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:10-11






1 comment:

Jen said...

I love the calander idea and when someday down the road I have kids I am going to borrow that idea from you. Thanks so much for the ideas. Love and miss you guys. Jen