This post, Christmas Stories for Family Time During the Holidays, was made possible with digital downloads of The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury – Audio Collection from The Familyman for review as part of the Homeschool Review Crew.
Can you believe that October is more than half over? Soon Halloween will be in our rear view mirror and the jam packed holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day will be upon us. It is also a great time to start considering what to do as a family to make it a memorable one.
If you’ve been in the Christian homeschool world for any length of time, you’ve probably seen something from The Familyman. Todd Wilson has comics which delight homeschool parents and authored the books, Help! I’m Married to a Homeschooling Mom and The Official Book of Homeschooling Cartoons. He’s also spoken around the country bringing some levity to a situation that can try so many families…homeschooling the kids!
About The Familyman’s Christmas Stories
The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury is a collection of stories he wrote to entertain while also presenting some truths surrounding Christmas. In our society, it is so easy to get sucked into the commercial aspect that you can forget the real reason for the holiday.
This collection is available in print format ( a total of 8 stories) or audio book format (the first 6 stories in the complete collection. We are reviewing the mp3 downloadable audio books.
The audios were recorded by master storyteller Jim Hodges.
Captain Chaos and The Manger Blaster
Jason is 10 and has decided that the traditional “manger story” is boring. He wants the super hero, Captain Chaos, to blast away the manger and create a new, more exciting story. Sent to his room, he has an unexpected meeting with Captain Chaos and is introduced to a world without the manger.
Cootie McKay’s Nativity
It’s 1956 and in a town it looks like Christmas will not happen. But, Cootie McKay uses talent and vision to make it the most memorable Christmas of all.
At a church near the edge of town, people are gathered on Christmas Eve and panicked about the ‘stranger’ seen around town. He is dirty and has people afraid to answer their doors for fear of what he might do to them. But, one family does open their doors and end up with a memorable Christmas Eve.
The Bishop’s Dream
Saint Nicholas of Myra was a real person. He loved the people he served and taught about Christ. But, in a dream he is introduced to the future where ‘Santa Claus’ seems to have replaced Christ.
Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest
On the first Sunday after Thanksgiving, Isaac finds his dad putting on the “Christmas Vest” and mentions that none of the other dads wear something like that. His dad then shares the story of the original owner of the vest, Mr. Grubbs, who was known as the ‘meanest man in town’ and how he was transformed.
Gladys Remembers Christmas
Gladys does not like Christmas. Her mother is dead and her father is stern, showing no indication of loving her. A trip to an old house on a cold December day changes all that.
Our Thoughts on These Christmas Stories
Love, love, love!
Is that enough information???
Okay, seriously, the stories have been a hit with my 6-year-old son.
They are just long enough to keep his attention, but short enough that bedtime or an afternoon storytime, yet do not eat up hours. His one wish is that the mp3 files were really mp4 files with images to watch as the story is read.
When I saw that it was Jim Hodges doing the audio, I knew they would be well received. We have other collections he has voiced and my older boys were blessed to be at a seminar he led during our annual curriculum fair here in Anchorage. Mr. Hodges truly brings the stories to life for all who listen.
I also appreciated that the stories had a moral or teaching included without it being super pushy. My 11th grader listened to The Stranger with us and told me he could see where it was going early on. However, he has way more years of formation in the faith than my 6-year old who was surprised by who the stranger was.
The Bishop’s Dream was one of the first ones we listened to. J requested it as he is enthralled with the idea of Santa Claus and gift giving. What a great title to blend some history about the real Saint Nicholas of Myra and show how disheartened he would be to find the spectacle Christmas has become for many.
Overall, these have been a great addition to our storytime. I am sure that several (if not all of them) will be played several times as Christmas approaches.
Do you use audio books of stories for entertainment in your house?
Which of these stories most appeals to you?
Don’t just take my word for how we found this to be. Visit The Familyman post on the Homeschool Review Crew website to see what other homeschooling parents thought about this title and other grade level ones.