Celebrate Christmas With Audio Adventures from The Familyman (A Homeschool Crew Review)

I love Christmas stories. Since I was in high school, I’ve collected Christmas books each holiday season. As my kids were born and have grown up, I’ve regularly tried to buy Christmas books to add to our collection. There’s nothing like gathering the family together to read those Christmas stories each holiday season.

We’ve recently had the opportunity to listen to the The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury- Audio Adventures from the Digital Downloads. These Christmas audio adventures are produced by The Familyman. We received a collection of eight digital downloads to listen to.

Christmas stories for the family

Who is The Familyman?

Several years ago, my husband and I were able to hear Todd Wilson speak at a homeschool convention. That was our first introduction to him and to his ministry- The Familyman. In speaking, Todd has the ability to be engaging and humorous, but also deep and meaningful at the same time. Plus, he and his wife used to travel around with, like, 400 (or 9) kids in an RV during homeschool convention season. That alone makes both of them some kind of super heroes in my book.

As a part of Todd’s ministry to families, The Familyman store has a variety of resources for moms, dads, and the whole family. Included in those resources are some Christmas specials- a game, Christmas craft kits, a set of Christmas story books- The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury, and The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury audio adventures.

The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury

We received the downloads of eight mp3 audio adventures. You can also purchase six of these audio adventures as a CD set.

Our eight stories were:

  • Captain Chaos and the Manger Blaster– Jason, a little boy, is tired of the same old story about the manger and baby Jesus. He’s pretending to blast the manger with his Captain Chaos superhero toy when he’s sent to his room. In his room, he comes face to face with a real Captain Chaos who shows Jason exactly what things would be like if Jesus hadn’t come, born in a manger.
  • Cootie McKay’s Nativity– The narrator is telling the story of a long ago Christmas. The town almost didn’t have a Christmas that year. But help came in the unexpected form of Cootie McKay.
  • Gladys Remembers Christmas– Gladys hates her name and has always hated Christmas. She’s named after her mother who died when Gladys was only six years old. Gladys’s father provided for her and her brothers, but he had trouble showing love. When Gladys heads over to clean out her father’s old house on Christmas Eve, she remembers more about Christmas than ever before, and her opinions of the holidays are forever changed.
  • Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest– Every year, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, Isaac’s dad digs out an old Christmas vest from the back of his closet. Isaac wonders about the old vest, that his father only wears during the Christmas season. So Isaac’s dad tells him the story about Harold Grubbs whose vest it once was. Harold Grubbs used to be the meanest man in town… but something happened that changed him forever.
  • It’s Called Christmas– Nook lives in the future- in fact, it’s 300 years in the future. Much has changed in all those years. One of those changes is that there’s no such thing as Christmas. His family, like the others in the future, celebrate “the holiday.” But when Nook purchases something in The Holiday Mall, the clerk is an older man who tells Nook, “It’s called Christmas.” This sends Nook on a quest to find out what exactly “Christmas” is.
  • The Bishop’s Dream– This story is about a bishop who lived long, long ago in the ancient town of Myra. This bishop cares for the poor children by giving them gifts and telling them about Jesus. One night, he has a vision and is able to see that, in the future, he’s become quite a legend- Saint Nicholas, Santa Claus. The bishop is sad that so many people seem to have made him the center of this celebration that they call Christmas. And he wants to remind them that it’s all about Jesus- not about him.
  • The Secret of the Snow Village- Katherine is thoroughly absorbed in watching her Grandmother’s decorative Christmas village during her family’s regular visit with the family during the Christmas season.That night Katherine finds herself in the Christmas village that has come alive!
  • The Stranger- Sam’s town is in an uproar because a stranger has come to town. The people in Sam’s church want nothing to do with this stranger whose name is Jesse. Sam’s family decides to show kindness to this man that the other church members want no association with. As Sam watches the stranger, he comes to realize that this isn’t just any stranger. This stranger is really Someone special.

Our Thoughts

Opinions about the audio adventures were varied in our house. Most of my children aren’t thrilled with audio books or audio adventure stories in general. However, there were several of these that really did seem to capture their attention. Some they critiqued. Others they were just interested in.

My oldest daughter had been listening to Captain Chaos and the Manger Blaster when she observed that Jason, the little boy in the story, seemed to be much more upset about there being no Christmas presents and decorations and traditions than he seemed to be over the fact that there was no Jesus. The story did come round, however, and focus on where we would be if the birth of Jesus hadn’t happened.

My youngest was captivated by Gladys Remembers Christmas, although she thought the memories that Gladys has a little strange at first because it took her a while to realize that they were memories, happening in the past, and that Gladys was a grown woman in the story.

I actually happened to like the stories. My very favorite is The Bishop’s Dream. I had figured out that the bishop was going to end up being Santa Claus before the story revealed it, and I loved the twist to the story. (And it’s a great way to introduce to kids the story behind Saint Nicholas.)

Another one I really liked- and one that makes for some great discussion with the kids- is The Stranger. Have you ever wondered what would happen if Jesus really just showed up? How would the people in your church actually respond? How would you respond?

If your family enjoys audio stories, these are great. You can purchase downloads and then use them on your computer or on a device to listen. They would be great for long car rides if you’re traveling over the holidays.

Because the stories all point to the real meaning of Christmas, they’re good for discussing with the kids as well. Talk about the stories. Ask what kids think about them. What do they think about Jason wanting to destroy the manger and get rid of the same old boring Christmas story? What kind of person is Gladys and how do her remembered moments change her? Why was the bishop uneasy when he saw how people were celebrating Christmas in the future? There are so many good jumping off points for discussions as you listen to these stories.

Christmas audio adventures

Other Homeschool Crew reviewers have been listening to these audio adventures as well. Click on the banner to see what they thought.

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews

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