Monday, December 15, 2014

Advent Update and O Antiphons {Free printable!}

Enjoying "Holiday on Main Street" despite the frigid temperature!

As Advent flies by (doesn't it always?!), I haven't had much time for blogging, but I wanted to squeeze in a quick post!  I've been trying to fit as much fun as we can into this short Advent season, while being careful to maintain balance and avoid over-commitment (always a challenge, that one little word--balance).  A head-cold the kids had last week forced us all to slow down and do the simple at-home stuff we love best.  We read lots of Christmas stories, drank hot cocoa, watched Christmas movies and made simple crafts.  Every year I seem to need the reminder that it's not about how much we do, but the quality of what we do that matters most.  (I guess I have a short memory!)  Fun no longer feels very...well, fun when it's jam-packed into teeny tiny time slots, like sardines in a can.

But we have managed to fit in some activities we love to do each year.  We trimmed the tree.  We've prayed around the Advent wreath each night (ok...well most nights!).  We saw some amazing gingerbread houses on display.  We celebrated St. Nicholas Day and St. Lucia.  We did some RACKing--taping quarters to parking meters and popcorn to Red Box machines.  The kids have been placing "Sneaky Art" around stores whenever we shop!  Life is good.

Megan all dressed up for St. Lucia Day

Our St. Lucia Feast :)

As Advent nears its final days, I wanted to share these free printable O antiphon ornaments I made.  You can print, color and mount them to cardstock to make ornaments, glue them to wooden blocks...or whatever else you feel inspired to do!  My kids love coloring them and hanging them on our paper Jesse tree.  We also incorporate them into our evening prayer time, starting on December 17th, by praying the corresponding prayer each day and singing the appropriate verse of O Come of Come Emmanuel.  It's simple to do, and a fun way to build the excitement as we celebrate the final days of Advent.  They also blend beautifully with the Jesse Tree stories, which is a neat bonus.

This is what your print-outs should look like.  Just color and cut.

Click on the links above, and you should be able to print the ornament pages from Google Docs.  They are Microsoft Word documents.  If you're looking for O Antiphon prayers, these are great to say together as a family.  In that same link, you can also read about how the Benedictine monks arranged the O antiphons to spell "Ero Cras"--tomorrow I will comeAmazing.  And here you can find the corresponding verses of O Come O Come Emmanuel to sing.

Our simple paper Jesse Tree
Some of our favorite Christmas read-alouds

I hope you're having a blessed Advent.  If you use the printables I'd love to see what you create!  Please feel free to share!


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