Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Merry Christmas to you!

Merry Christmas family and friends!

We’ve cut down the tree, the lights on the house are up (all but one 5 foot section of lights that Scott can’t get to stay lit), and we’ve had a dusting of snow. It’s almost Christmas! This means that it’s time for the Seitz Christmas letter and I’ve been racking my brain to think of the best kind of letter to write this year. Our dog Harper has joined the family and I considered letting her write it as the cats did a few years ago, but as sweet as she is she’s a little spastic and it probably wouldn’t get done. I thought about writing another sappy Christmas letter like last year, (which was a personal favorite of mine) but I thought maybe you might miss my sarcastic edge if I tried that two years in a row. So, without further ado…

The Top 10 Seitz Family Adventures in Preparing for Christmas 2011:

10. The Grinch. Perhaps it’s because The Grinch that Stole Christmas has been a favorite story of Cameron’s for the last few years and that we’ve read it about a million times in the year 2011 alone, sadly no one wants to read it now that it’s finally the season for it. They do however laugh hysterically when the song comes on the radio and they can sing out “Mr. Gri-INCH!”

9. The Movies. We love that our kids love to laugh and nothing makes us all laugh harder than watching Elf at Christmastime (and who am I kidding, we watch that guy all year round). We also feel quite proud that our kids like to quote Elf on a regular basis. Why just the other day Cameron told Maggie that she smelled like beef and cheese and sat on a throne of lies. Ahh….that’s our boy:)

8. The Christmas Letter. Who knew writing about what we’ve been doing all year could be so stressful? Do we do a Seitz Family Quiz? A letter from the pets? Funny? Serious? So many choices, so little room on the paper…

7. The Picture for the Christmas Card. Do you know how hard it is to get 4 kids, ages 9,7, 4 and 2 to smile a normal smile (not a constipated smile or a crazy-time I’m doing this just to appease you but I really look like a psycho in my eyes smile) at the same time. It’s almost impossible and so we’ve taken to snapping or having the poor soul that we’ve snagged from nearby snap about 50 pictures in desperate hope at least one of them turn out nicely. (And to be honest, more importantly than the 4 kids smiling is whether the picture of the mom is decent because there’s no way a photo will be sent to you, our friends and family, that isn’t. Scott could have his eyes shut in the photo and we could be missing a kid, but if the mom looks good, it might end up being the one that we use that year.)

6. The Christmas Lights. We planned to put the Christmas lights up over Thanksgiving weekend, but because of our busy travel schedule and a 4 year old with strep throat, it didn’t happen. Then the weather got cold and snowy and Scott insisted that we wait and let the snow melt off our roof so he would be safer. We were a little disappointed that he didn’t man up a bit and try to climb up there anyway, but eventually he untangled the lights and began the quest to find the broken bulb that made all the others stop working too. We tried to talk him into investing in some new Christmas lights to no avail, but armed with a volt meter and a pocket full of fuses, by golly, he got most of them lit.

5. The Christmas Program. Jolie (age 9) made her stage debut this year as a Dancing Elvis in the Christmas program at church. It was an Elvis-themed production called Bethlehem Rock and she was a ROCKSTAR in it swinging her hips and shaking it up! Cameron (age 4) and Ella (age 7) also made cameo appearances in the show in the choir and they sang and danced beautifully too. Plus it was a Christmas miracle that all three kids ended up on the same side of the stage so we didn’t have to be the crazy parents climbing over other parishners to get a good video.

4. The Baking. Although by the time you have received this letter we won’t have done any of the holiday baking yet, know that it has been planned for weeks. We’ve carefully decided on the kinds of candy we’re making (peanut butter buckeyes and pistachio cranberry bark for sureJ), the cookies we’re baking , we’ve already picked up the cute boxes and plates that we’ll use to deliver it to the neighbors and made the long list of ingredients that we need (basically a million bags of chocolate chips). In another week or so our kitchen will be a sticky mess of melted chocolate chips, toasted coconut and more bags of confectioners’ sugar than anyone should ever buy at one time.

3. The selection of the Christmas Tree. We drove out to our favorite Tree Farm and there was no snow on the ground, which I’m sure lots of people prefer but for us it felt a little strange to be heading out as we always do the first weekend in December to choose our fantastic tree with absolutely no real snow on the ground. Although we don’t actually trek out into the wilderness like Clark W. Griswold and his family through waist high snow to chop down a huge tree with our bare hands that will barely fit into our living room, we still prefer a little snow while we wander around. But we did find our perfect tree and it’s the tallest one we’ve ever had. It’s a beaut Clark, a real beaut!

2. The Family. There is something about the anticipation of the holidays and the excitement of our kids that makes us look forward to December. We count down each day until Christmas and we try to celebrate all month long in big ways and small ways. We talk about Santa and the kids circle toys (and electronics now that Jolie is 9!) in the Toys R Us ads and leave them in convenient places for us to see. It is a joy for us to see our kids so excited about Christmas and to see their faces when they open their stockings. We are so blessed to have these four amazingly smart and funny and healthy children who really do enjoy each other most days. We are warm and we are provided for and we are together and still smiling most days. What better Christmas present could we ask for?

1. The Baby Jesus. It’s the reason we celebrate this season. We’re doing our best to teach our kids the true meaning of Christmas. The presents are great, the tree is beautiful, the movies are funny and the traditions are special, but we do all of this to celebrate the Baby Jesus. Without it, Christmas just wouldn’t mean as much and our hearts wouldn’t feel so joyful. “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

Merry Christmas and much love for the New Year!

Scott, Jamie, Jolie, Ella, Cameron and Maggie Seitz (plus Elvis, Sam and Harper too)

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