Last night marked the beginning of the O Antiphons, one of my favorite parts of Advent. I "discovered" these prayers, beginning on December 17th and leading right up to Christmas Eve, just last year after clicking on a link one of my Catholic friends shared on facebook. Such short little prayers but so infused with meaning and importance and taken straight from Scripture - the perfect thing to carry us through these last few days of Advent in mindfulness and wonder. This year my Missouri Synod Lutheran Church brought them into our Advent celebration as well. I love church tradition and was so thrilled that we decided to embrace these ancient and meaningful prayers this year. Here is the O Antiphon for today, December 18th:
Today my younger brother Noah sent a sibling - wide text. "6 Days Before Christmas! Initiate Christmas Spirit!" This year and, honestly, most years, he embodies Christmas Spirit and drags the rest of us along with him. There are 7 of us in addition to 3 spouses, and we are all close but never quite as close as at Christmas time. Our parents did a great job making Christmas important to us growing up and we have a lot of fun shared memories. Here are five truths about Christmas in large family, just in case you're wondering how that all goes down:
1) Someone will get something "wrapped" in a garbage bag, often with a bow slapped on for festivity-sake.
2) As a result of late night wrapping exhaustion, there will be several unmarked gifts that have to be unwrapped just to see who they are intended for.
3) It is not uncommon for parents to still be shopping for their brood on Christmas eve.
4) Christmas looks HUGE - even if it's not, due to the sheer number of people and presents crammed in the living room.
5) Coffee before gifts is not only recommended, it's required. All children know this and can be seen in the kitchen brewing an extra big pot just to coax their exhausted parents down stairs.
6) The best part of the whole thing is the spirit and joy that celebrating together brings.
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