We spend a lot of time in our minivan traveling to and from church, homeschool activities, library visits, and grocery trips. While I’m not necessarily a fan of being stuck in the van with the kids when we could be doing other things, I do like to think we redeem that time by listening to audiobooks, podcasts and music.
We have been getting into the mood for Christmas a little early this year by listening to The Familyman’s Christmas Treasury – Audio Collection from The Familyman, available as both in CD or audio downloads. My girls were more than happy to start listening to Christmas stories as they typically start begging to bring out the Christmas music in July!
These stories are written by Todd Wilson and narrated by Jim Hodges (who you may be familiar with from his G. A. Henty recordings). Each story varies in length from about 15-30 minutes (perfect for our car rides). The first six audio stories are available for purchase as a CD from but can also be purchased separately as individual downloads or all 8 as a single download purchase. They are suitable for all ages, and my older girls ages 6 & 9 enjoyed them and kept asking for more!
Here’s a brief summary of each of the stories:
Captain Chaos and The Manger Blaster
In Captain Chaos and The Manger Blaster, a young boy namedJason and his sister are playing with their nativity set when Jason gets a little creative with the Christmas story. His revised version, which includes Captain Chaos interrupting silent night, causes an argument with his sister and gets him sent to his room by his mother after he expresses that he wishes he could get rid of the manger. Jason is awoken during the night by the appearance of Captain Chaos breaking through his bedroom wall — and he states that he has arrived to help him get rid of the manger. Captain Chaos then uses his Manger Blaster on the manger, and when Jason wakes up in the morning he discovers his world without Christ.
Cootie McKay’s Nativity
This is a sweet story about how a very unique and quirky man builds a new nativity set for a town after the old one is destroyed by a car accident. While the whole town is skeptical of how the project will turn out (Cootie McKay essentially builds things out of trash), Cootie meets Jesus through the pages of the Bible.
In this story, a whole town is afraid of what seems to be a homeless man who has been going about neighborhood. After being turned away by everyone else, this stranger shows up in a snowstorm at the door of the Tucker family on Christmas Eve.
The Bishop’s Dream
Other than mentioning that the idea of Santa Clause is loosely based on a historical character, our family hasn’t explored the Saint Nicholas story at all. This story provided an interesting introduction. In it, a Bishop who loved the Lord and served the poor is shown through his dream what Christmas has become to us today and how he himself has become a myth.
Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest
This is the story of how an old vest becomes a symbol of the grace and power of God to transform the life and a long hardened heart at Christmastime.
Gladys Remembers Christmas
After her mother’s death, Gladys grew up feeling unloved under the care of her stern father. She also grew up to hate Christmas, which only reminded her of the happiness of others and the hole in her own life. While cleaning out the attic of her childhood home, Gladys is surprised to find long forgotten Christmas memories that change everything.
It’s Called Christmas
This is the first story we listened too, and I think it was my favourite. It is presented as a message and a warning from a boy in the future of what will result as Christ is erased first from Christmas, and then from history itself.
The Secret of Snow Village
In this story, a young girl finds herself exploring a real life Christmas village just like the ceramic one she finds so very fascinating.