A Genuinely Easy Advent Activity

HEY, IT’S ALMOST ADVENT.  If that idea makes you panic, weep, or throw up, then this is the post for you.

My sister, Abby Tardiff, put together a very, very easy Advent activity  — as she says, “suitable for kids or grown-ups” — to help focus us on preparation for Christmas.  You can use it either as an Advent chain or as Jesse Tree ornaments.

I couldn’t figure out how to put the actual images in this post, but if you click on the link below, you can download the the word document, which is seven pages in black and white.


Advent chains

And here are my sister’s directions:


Cut on the lines to make strips, and use a stapler to form the strips into paper
chains, which represent the chains of sin and death. Then each day of
Advent, starting this Sunday, remove one strip and read it. Except for
December 19, which is from the Canticle of Zechariah, they are all Old
Testament prophecies of the coming of the Messiah.

[For a more colorful version, tape the strips to purple or pink strips of construction paper, depending on what week you’re on.  It’s very nice for everyone, especially younger kids, to see the chain getting smaller and smaller as Christmas approaches; and little kids can take turns snipping the links and handing them to someone who can read.]


Each strip also has a Jesse Tree ornament (not related to the prophecy) on
it that you may color and cut out, and hang on a branch. The Jesse Tree
tells the history of Salvation, beginning with Creation and ending with
Emmanuel, God With Us. During Advent, we tell our children these stories,
because they tell why we need a Savior, and how God prepared the world for
His coming.

The last seven ornaments are the “O Antiphons” taken from the evening
prayers of those days. You can read about them here.
The hymn “O Come, O Come
Emmanuel” is based on the O Antiphons.

Feel free to pass these around. I chose the prophecies, but I kiped
uncopyrighted images from various places on the net.


  1. Simcha, I’m a little confused about the dates. Is there a reason it starts on today, Saturday, Nov 26? Did she make this last year?

    And, do the O Antiphons end on Dec23?

  2. Hi, Lindsey. The reason it begins today is that we tend to read the prophecies in the evening, when we light our Advent wreath. Advent begins this evening, because all feast days (including Sundays) begin with the vigil.

    As for the O Antiphons, they are taken from Vespers (evening prayer), and the last Vespers of Advent is on the 23rd (because the evening prayer of the 24th is the Vigil of Christmas).

    Hope that makes sense. I actually did add an ornament and prophecy for the 24th, for those who do their Advent Chains in the morning or afternoon. You can see the revised version here: http://alexanderpruss.blogspot.com/2011/11/advent-chains.html


  3. I did Nov 26-Dec 4 last night:

    26 — Isaiah 9:2
    27 — Ezekiel 36:24-28
    28 — Isaiah 2:4
    29 — Isaiah 11:1-2
    30 — Isaiah 11:6-9

    1 — Isaiah 25:7-8
    2 — Isaiah 29:18-19
    3 — Isaiah 30:19-21
    4 — Isaiah 30:26

    …That’s as far as I got before I fell asleep over my keyboard. Thought I would post this much in case anyone else wants to do a few…If not I will be going back to it later today and will post as much as I can!

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  5. Dec
    5 — Baruch 5:5-6
    6 — Is 40:1-2
    7 — Is 40: 3-5
    8 — Is 40:6-8
    9 — Is 40:9-10
    10 — 40:11
    11 — 40:30-31
    12 — Zechariah 2:10-11
    13 — Zephaniah 3:14-15
    14 — Numbers 24:17
    15 — Jer 23:5-6
    16 — Is 7:14
    17 — Malachi 3:2-3
    18 — Micah 5:4-5a
    19 — Luke 1:78-79
    20 — Is 62:1
    21 — Is 62:2-3, 5b
    22 — Is 52:7
    23 — Is 52: 8-10

    Forgive any errors! Some were hard to find because the translation is weird. Thought it was NAB but some deviance.

    Anyway, Thanks, Abby for the idea!!

  6. Thanks Abby. We are using this with our kids (9 and under) and put it up today. We taped construction paper (purple or pink) to each link).

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