My family loves the holidays.. From early October until the start of the new year, we are in holiday mode, gearing up for Halloween, followed by Thanksgiving and then heading straight into the Christmas season. The colored lights start getting untangled, the Christmas tree is set up and decorated and Christmas music begins to be played soon after the turkey is served.
Even though it was a bit early, we were able to have a bit of Christmas early in Sept/Oct when we had the opportunity to review the digital download version of The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection from The Familyman.
The Christmas Treasury Audio Collection includes 6 stories written by Todd Wilson (The Familyman Podcast) and read by Jim Hodges. Available as a 6 CD collection or by downloadable digital MP3 files, the collection includes the following stories:
- Captain Chaos and The Manger Blaster -Ten year old Jason is bored with the manger. The Nativity Story would be so much exciting with a Superhero and a blaster to blast that manger to bits. Will Jason feel the same once he sees how life would be without the baby in the manger?
- Cootie McKay's Nativity - It's the Christmas that almost wasn't when the nativity scene is destroyed.. Until Cootie McKay comes to save the day... Only Cootie doesn't know anything about the Christmas Story.
- The Stranger - When a stranger comes to town, he finds very few friendly faces at Sam's church. But as Sam's family shows this stranger kindness, Sam starts to realize that this is no ordinary stranger they've let into their home.
- The Bishop's Dream - How would St Nicolas feel if he knew how much focus is given to him as "Santa Claus" during the holiday season instead of the focus being on the birth of Christ.
- Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest - Issac's dad drags out that UGLY sweater every Thanksgiving and wears it to church. Issac hates it - it's embarrassing to be seen with his dad when he wears it. Until his dad tells him the story of Harold Grubbs.
- Gladys Remembers Christmas - Gladys hates Christmas almost as much as she hates her name. Her name reminds her of her mother who died when she was a child and Christmas reminds her that everyone is happy - except her.
We were also given the MP3s to two additional Christmas stories which are not available with the CD set but are available on the Familyman website as digital downloads:
- It's Called Christmas - Nook, a young man from 300 years from the future who has traveled to our time to give us a warning of what will happen if we take Christ out of Christmas.
- The Secret of the Snow Village - Who doesn't love looking at those tiny decorative Christmas villages? Catherine loves looking at her Grandmother's village and finds herself envious of their "perfect Christmas".
Each story runs between 15 to 30 minutes and is suitable for all ages, from the very young to the very old.
What We Thought:
Since we were reviewing the digital download version of the Treasury collection, we downloaded the 8 MP3 files and uploaded them to our Amazon account. This worked very well for us as we could then just use the app on our phone or tablets to listen to them as well as to play them on our Amazon Echo.
Jim Hodges has a very smooth voice and is easy to listen to. These are stories that can easily become a Christmas Eve tradition of listening with the family while sipping on hot chocolate.
My personal favorite out of the 8 stories was "The Stranger". The Bible says that we should always keep the lamp lit and prepared for the master's return and this story really made me think about that . What if Christ knocked on your door tonight, would you let him in? I love the idea of Jesus being a guest in my house.
The kids really liked "Captain Chaos and The Manger Blaster" - they thought Jim Hodges robotic voice of Captain Chaos in this particular story was funny. Garrett loved it!!
One of the things I absolutely love about these stories is that they focus on the true meaning of Christmas - not the presents or the Christmas tree. Not the man in the red suit with white trim. Instead, these classic stories bring the listeners attention to the fact that Jesus is the reason for the Season. Todd Wilson is a great story writer.
All of these stories are available in MP3 format and the first 6 are available when purchasing the 6 CD set. If listening to audio readings isn't your style, each story is also available in book format on the website, perfect for cuddling up on the couch and reading as a family each night leading up to Christmas.
To learn more about the Familyman Ministries and the Christmas Treasury Audio Collection, please visit their website or visit any of their social media websites at:
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