Merry Christmas from the Seitz Family!
The Holiday season is here and we Seitz’s are gearing up for our favorite time of the year. The perfect tree has been selected and decorated, the house has been lit “Clark W. Griswold-style” by Scotty himself, the kids have written their letters to Santa and circled items in the Toys R Us ad just in case there was any confusion, and the theme for this year’s Christmas letter has been decided on. It’s time for Christmas!
Getting ready for Christmas for our family comes with lots of traditions and “can’t-wait-to-do’s”, one of which is going to look at Christmas lights. We pack everyone in the van in their jammies after dinner and we drive around a few of our favorite neighborhoods, listening to Christmas music, and deciding who has outdone themselves on lights this year. There’s just something about Christmas lights that fascinates our kids (and who are we kidding…it’s still something Scott and I love to do). They’re bright, they sparkle and twinkle, they’re colorful and they make ordinary houses and yards become beautiful and magical. And how amazing it is that what you don’t even notice in the daylight becomes such a spectacular display when the sun goes down (at 4:30 in the afternoonL).
I have been thinking a lot about light in the last few days and maybe it’s a blessing that our Christmas letter hadn’t been finished and sent out yet (even though it’s much later in the season that it’s usually sent), because it has given me a chance to think about what I really wanted to say this year. With the terrible things that have happened in the last few weeks in the news and with some of our very closest friends going through some very tough times, I’ve begun to wonder why all this darkness during a time that is supposed to be filled with joy and love and light. And although I don’t have a good enough answer for why, I know that we need to focus on BEING the light in the darkness.
With Christmas just a week away, my family and I believe with all our hearts that God is the light of the world and we’ll be holding our candles high on Christmas Eve while we sing Silent Night at church to celebrate that Light. But I also want to make sure that my kids know that they’ve been blessed with a light as well, we all have, God given gifts. They have the ability to shine in the darkness for all those around us (you know, like the song “This Little Light of Mine”) and that’s what I want to share with you today. I want to tell you a little bit about these lovely lights that shine in our lives every day and to tell you why we’re so thankful for them.
Our ten-year-old daughter Jolie is brilliant. I mean that in the way that the British say it, to mean the most fantastic, amazing, and charming. She is brave and adventurous, stubborn and creative, witty, hilarious and beautiful. Jolie and Scott have been learning guitar together this year, along with her continuing to play the violin, and we are amazed at how musical our child is. She rocks out like she’s been playing for years, she’s writing songs of her own after school and she’s fearless about playing for an audience. She also discovered basketball this year and she plays with determination and she loves the challenge of a new sport. She is afraid of nothing, she will try new things, and this light of hers is so bright that we don’t doubt that she’s growing up to accomplish great things.
Ella turned eight this year and she is growing into a beautiful, sensitive and generous middle sister. She is quietly independent and fiercely smart. She adores her big sister and she protects her younger siblings and teaches them well (most of the time…Maggie may or may not have learned the word “butt-head” from her this summer, but because of all the good stuff, we’ll let it slide). Ella is passionate about reading and you will rarely find her without a book or her Kindle and she loves to act out the stories in the many plays that take place in our basement. Ella is an amazing friend, she is gentle and sweet and she takes good care of those around her. She had the best time with her soccer team this spring and fall and even scored her first goals, but I think her favorite part of soccer was having her Dad as coach. Ella’s light is kind and nurturing and steady. How blessed we are by her.
Cameron is our rambunctious, eager and snuggly five-year-old and the only boy in the house of so many girls. Cam will one day make a fantastic husband because he will be able to tolerate all the crazy that girls bring. This boy of ours brings us so much joy because he is free with his feelings, he tells you that he loves you all the time, he loves to entertain, and because he has a love of learning that could only come from his DadJ His best days are spent outside building a fort or construction site with his big orange cones, Scott’s scraps of wood, our neighbor’s left over rope and bits of recycles from our bin. He is happiest when he’s helping me cook dinner (apron, chef hat and all), when he’s researching the moon with Scott before they take the telescope outside, or when he’s running down the soccer field doing just what his big sister Ella did. Cam’s light is evident in his ear to ear grin and his big belly laugh that we love to hear because it’s a good measure of something really funny. Our boy is one big ball of light. Maggie, our last baby is now three! She truly is the best ending we could have asked for in our family. She is silly and sassy, she knows what she wants, she takes in everything that the big kids do and say, and her mischievous personality makes every day more interesting. This baby of ours soaks everything in, she reads back to us what we read to her, she retells stories and jokes that her big sisters and brother tell her, she sings all the songs that they teach her, she tells her Daddy all about what she and Mommy did that day (even when it would be nice to keep it quiet that we went out for lunch and spent a little too much at Target). Her light is her infectious smile and in her wonderment of everything around her. She marvels at how things work, what will happen next, how the dog is feeling on any given day, and she teaches us every day to watch the world through a child’s eyes.
These sweet babes are the lights of our life. Scott and I are thankful every day for the health and happiness of our kids and of our family. We hope we’re teaching them well, encouraging them to shine bright and to stand up for what’s right and to be an example. We hope they know that although they may feel ordinary in the daylight, when the sun goes down they twinkle and shine like Christmas lights and that people will stop to admire them, like we do, with wonder and awe. We hope that even when times are dark, we can BE the light for someone else, especially during Christmas, and every day after that. We hope the same for you and your family too.
Merry Christmas! With much love, Scott, Jamie, Jolie, Ella, Cameron and Maggie Seitz
Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.