Tuesday, October 18, 2016

TOS Review~ The Familyman's Christmas Treasury Audio Collection

Just in time for Christmas, we were given the opportunity to review The Familyman's Christmas Treasury-Audio Collection from The Familyman. The Familyman's Christmas Treasury is a compilation of various stories about Christmas of course.

The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews
The Familyman ministries was started to remind dads about what is most important in life....their families! Todd Wilson and his wife, Debbie have eight kids. They are a homeschooling family that try to encourage other families along the journey. The Familyman website offers a variety of resources for dads(and moms). You'll find the top 10 lists, funny cartoons, articles for dads (and moms), directions to make cool things like a potato gun. I know my son was excited when I found that! Todd Wilson is the author of Help! I'm Married to a Homeschooling Mom and The Official Book of Homeschool Cartoons. Be sure to stop by their website and take a look around. Besides offering great products for families to buy, they offer wonderful advice and encouragement!
The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews
For this review, we received The Familyman's Christmas Treasury- Audio Collection Digital Download. I was also sent a single physical CD copy of The Bishop's Dream. 
The Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection Digital Download contains 6 Christmas stories. 
Captain's Chaos and the Manger Blaster
Cootie McKay's Nativity
The Stranger
Gladys Remembers Christmas
Harold Grubbs and the Christmas Vest
The Bishop's Dream
In addition to the 6 stories included on this Christmas story treasury, my family received two additional Christmas stories to enjoy as a family. 
The Secret of Snow Village 
It's Called Christmas
Adoration of the Shepherds 

We started with the Christmas story, Gladys Remembers Christmas. 
This is a charming tale about Gladys, a woman who dislikes Christmas. The beginning of the story gives us a little bit of background information about Gladys' childhood. We learn that Gladys's mother died when she was only 6 years old. We see how unhappy and lonely her life felt after the death of her mother. She grew to up to feel unloved and bitter. She never celebrated Christmas. After placing her elderly father in a nursing home, she takes on the task of cleaning out his house and finding a special package he asked her to look for. She heads to up to the attic to search through the items stored up there. Like many houses, the attic is filled to the rim. Memories of her happy past start to flood her mind. She realizes how family and the times they've spent together are so important....more important than any possessions we may have collected over the years. She finds a ton of Christmas boxes, when suddenly the smell of cookies baking comes drifting upstairs and she hears a woman calling her. The voice is peaceful and calming. She heads down the stairs to see what is going on. She see her mother.She can't believe her eyes. She immediately is filed with a ton of emotions.  Here mother helps her realize all the good times they had while she was alive. Her mother and her discover the Nativity set that her father bought her mother their first Christmas together. This was the special Christmas box her father had sent her to find. Her mother and the Nativity set reminded Gladys that God loves her. He always has. He loves us when times are good and loves us when times are bad. He never leaves our side. 
I found this story a little advanced for younger children. Small children may have a hard time understanding the pain we go through that may lead us away from Jesus and true happiness. I would recommend this for children ages 10 and up. I loved how it stressed to the listener to focus on God, family, and love. If we focus on these three things, we will find happiness here on earth and in heaven.
The next story, we listened to was Captain Chaos and the Manager Blaster. 
This story will defiantly appeal to young boys, especially if they love action figures. Jason, a young boy in this story, thinks the story of Jesus' birth is too boring! He feels it lacks excitement. While telling the story to his sister, he tries to add some embellishments. She, of course, says he can not change the story of Jesus' birth. Later that night, Jason gets a visit from Captain Chaos! Captain Chaos blasts Christmas away. When Jason goes down for breakfast the next morning and starts to pray, his mother questions what he is doing. Jason quickly realizes that without the story of Jesus' birth, there is no Christian faith. He runs around town and see that no one knows anything about Christmas or Jesus. 
The churches are gone. 
There is no Christmas.
There is no JESUS!
Can Jason save Christmas form being blasted away?
This story was well liked by the kids. I found it a little too cartooning at first. I'm more a traditional gal, so this was a Christmas story that was a little too modern for me. I did like how the story showed kids how the story of our Lord's birth plays such an important roll in our faith. It's rather quite simple...No Jesus, No Christians! It can lead to a wonderful discussion about how the world would be without Jesus. 

The third story we listened to was The Bishop's Dream. 
I had such high hopes for this story when it started talking about Bishop Nicholas (who we refer to as St. Nicholas). I even thought it might be a new story to listen to when we celebrate the feast of Saint Nicholas on December 6th. The story starts out fairly well. We are introduced to Bishop Nicholas from Myra. Bishop Nicholas was a wonderful man known for his caring and loving ways. He exemplified Jesus way of living by helping the less fortunate. He often cared for the poor bringing joy to others by also to Jesus. Saint Nicholas was leading a life of service for God. He was a wonderful example of the corporal works of mercy.
The story takes a turn when Saint Nicholas finds himself in the present world. He sees images of Santa Claus and wonders who this guy is. ***If your family partakes in the world of Santa Claus, please be aware that this story does talk about how he isn't real. Little kids may find this very upsetting.** Saint Nicholas wants to know why and how this new Santa Claus has taken over Christmas like so many of us do today.
I'll admit that I didn't finish this story. I can't tell you how it ends. While listening to The Bishop's Dream, I was bombarded with a lot of anti-catholic messages.
Christmas does not mean ritual. Christmas is translated from Latin as Christ' Mass. Our solemn Mass is not a ritual. The derogatory comments about saints and miracles were very offensive. I certainly didn't want my children to listen to something that was so anti-Catholic. It did bring forth a lot of discussion with the kids. I loved how my kids were able to pick up what was being said that went against our Catholic faith and teachings. They knew what we did believe and could easily discuss why we believe what we do! This story may be perfectly fine for non-Catholics (even though it does teach false teachings about the Catholic faith), but I would never recommend this story to Catholics. 
What did we think?

I loved the ease of downloading the stories. It made it very easy to listen to them. If you're like me though having a physical CD is great for listening to in the car.  Car homeschooling can be very helpful. I know I'm old fashioned, I don't put music on my phone or IPad. 
For us, this Christmas treasury of stories was not the right fit. Even though we are Christian and share many of the same beliefs, we have too many that are different.  
I do think the stories share a wonderful message about the true meaning of Christmas. Christmas should be about Jesus. He is the reason we are able to celebrate this beautiful day.
Find out what the other crew members had to say!
I'm sure they reviewed a few of the other stories.
The Familyman's Christmas Treasury - Audio Collection {The Familyman} Reviews
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