Sometimes I wish I could just not have to feel like I have to do everything.
By the end of the winter quarter, I have had about all of the Christmas my senses can manage.
I want Christmas for my students to be more than just what gift they are getting. So, they work all month long to present an Advent Tea to the their friends. Each group of five (mostly 4th grade with one or two of my fifth graders) presents their tea one afternoon Monday through Thursday.
Then I can't just do some run of the mill prepackaged ornament that I stick their picture in for parents. Oh no, we have to have a hand stitched gift. I love these little angels.
Friday was our turn to do mass and in late November I found a different Jesse Tree project than the one I had.
This one included the O' Antiphons, and though I've loved and sang O Come, O Come Emmanuel all my days, I didn't know the reason for the other verses. I really enjoyed researching the history of this monastic song. Soooooooo, I decided I'd teach my kidlets to sing and sign all the verses, yes, all seven of them- verses, I only have six students and one left early in the week for vacation. There was no point in starting it until the school Christmas play was over as they had to learn about ten songs for that. By Wednesday, I was feeling like I seriously bit off more than we could chew. Look it up, those really aren't easy words. If you don't know about them, here's a part of the introduction my student gave at mass:
The verses of the 9th century Latin hymn "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel," are derived from the "O ANTIPHONS". These seven great "O's" mark the last week of Advent. One is sung each day until Christmas Eve. They sum up the longing of Advent as they depict the desperate plight of humanity in need of a Savior, and address Christ with seven grand titles, O Wisdom, O Lord, O Root of Jesse, O Key of David, O Day Spring,O King of the Nations, and O Emmanuel,pleading with him to come save his people. The verse we know as the first was actually the last, climactic verse in the series.
We would like you to join us in singing through these O Antiphons after Eucharist this morning.
In Latin the letters which begin the titles form an acrostic, which when reversed means "I shall be there tomorrow". In other words, this is the answer (spoken the day before Christmas!) that echoes back from the One to whom the people call.
Let us now turn our hearts to Him.Those five little girlies did an amazing job as it turns out. There was a woman there I'd never recalled seeing at our children's mass. She grabbed me on the way out and said it was the best rendition of the song she'd ever seen in her life. She said it was easy to see the kids understood the words and were passionate about it. She had been both a Director of Religious Ed and a music teacher, so that made me feel like it was worth the effort.
They also took home their rag dolls. Some of which have a bigger wardrobe than I mine I believe.
Backing up a bit, Wednesday night was our Hobbit date.
Last night was spent getting Pap's 35 year work gift up and running - a Kindle Fire.
Tomorrow is my children's Christmas, so today has been crazy busy just trying to everything wrapped and straightened. I am whupped. Sometimes I regret having moved our Christmas celebration to the Sunday before. I love, love, love the picky little details of holidays, but when school isn't out until the Friday before, well, you can forget details. If I manage to get everything wrapped and a name on it I feel I've accomplished something. I miss that though.
If you are curious about the O'Antiphones, or wish to hear the brothers singing them, you can go here-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6jRryDxJUc