November has arrived and even though I’m planning and looking forward to the annual stuff-myself-until-I-cannot-breathe Thanksgiving celebration, my mind is also on the upcoming Advent season. Christmas is the best time of year. I love the family togetherness, the crafts, the baking, the sights, sounds, and smells. Even as an adult, there is something purely wonderful about it.
In our home, we don’t ban Santa and the like, but we also do not focus on him. My children know that he is just a fun character akin to Elsa and Anna or the Ninja Turtles. We have a yearly family tradition of watching all classic holiday specials, including those that feature the fat jolly man with a sleigh. It’s fun, wholesome entertainment. But what’s real, what’s deeply meaningful to us is the recognition of God’s precious gift, His Son, Jesus. That’s why as we go through the holiday season, we have fun but we also try to make sure that we are immersing ourselves in the glory of the Lord. We want to turn our children’s hearts towards Him because He sent His only Son down to Earth as a baby so that we could have our salvation. It’s beyond words how much we ought to appreciate and bask in the deep generosity and love that the birth of the Savior represents.
Every year I see post after post and pin after pin about that little mischievous elf that comes into so many homes to watch children to see if they are behaving. I giggle at his antics and marvel at the creativity that so many of my friends exhibit as this little guy wreaks a small bit of havoc through the Christmas season. I’ve thought that it would be fun to do something similar, but it just didn’t make sense for us to have elf since our children don’t believe in Santa Claus. I also had some slight misgivings about the tattletale nature of the elf. I started searching the Internet trying to find an alternative that suited our family’s beliefs. Two years ago, I found one and we adore her. I love how she helps my children focus on serving others rather than on themselves. They talk about her all year, wondering when she will make her return.
Even still, my own slightly mischievous side still desired to spice up our Advent season with a character to accompany our beloved Noelle with a bit of fun similar to the infamous Elf. I had been putting together various ideas in my mind this year to try to come up with something on my own, but hadn’t quite found what I was looking for. That’s when Melk the Christmas Monkey entered the picture and I instantly knew he was the primate for us!
This ebook contains 30 fun lessons for children that have corresponding family oriented activities that all point back to Jesus. The lessons all include an overall theme such as, “God Cares for Us” or “God’s Word is Sweet.” Then there is a suggestion on how to set up your Melk to have him deliver his message for the day, an activity, a supply list for the activity, the main idea of the lesson, and an accompanying Scripture. Melk the Christmas Monkey even comes with prewritten letters for you to use. This makes light work for parents. No need for a ton of prep work, just gather up the materials (typically things you’d already have on hand!) and set everything up for your children to find!
There are even coloring pages available to accompany Melk throughout his adventures (if you purchase between November 1st-8th, you will get these for FREE with your ebook purchase!).
When I was chosen to participate in this product launch, I immediately knew that I wanted a sock monkey to be our holiday pal. I have thing for these handmade little guys so I began scouring the web to find just the perfect one. When I saw this precious red and white festively striped fellow, I just knew that he would be the perfect fit for this. Again, you don’t necessarily have to purchase a monkey to use for these activities. They can all be adapted to be used with any stuffed friend. You can use one that you already own or if you are interested, here are a few suggestions on where to find one.
When Melk came to visit, I had to think of a way that made sense for him to show up so early. With Christmas still a couple of months away, I wanted the explanation to be acceptable to my children without ruining the spirit of fun that comes along with waiting for our Christmas Angel to show up at the start of Advent. So, I decided that Melk would arrive for a test run. He wrote a letter to the children explaining to them that he had been chosen to accompany Noelle when she returned to our home, but he wanted to ensure that we were a monkey friendly family before deciding to join us. He told them that he would only make a few appearances throughout October and then he’d make a decision on whether or not we would make suitable hosts for him.
They were thrilled to see him on our kitchen table on the first morning. I found a cute little tin mailbox at the dollar store that will serve as the location for his daily letters. We had so much fun with Melk and when it was time for him to leave until Advent, the children were excitedly whispering about how much time was left until he returned (we were deemed monkey friendly, if you were wondering).
I plan to use him in conjunction with our angel. Noelle will continue to provide us with acts of service and kindness to perform each day while Melk will give us fun family activities to do together. A perfect combination, if you ask me.
I think that Melk offers something to families that is lost in many of the traditions that have grown popular over time–family togetherness that is accomplished through learning about the Lord. For Christian families, what more could you be asking for during the holiday season or any time?
Also in the spirit of the season, for every Melk ebook sold from November 1st-8th, one child in Mexico will be given the Gospel and a Christmas gift.
Melk wants to give back too, you see.
If an ebook isn’t your style, you can also purchase a paperback copy.
Melk the Monkey has been a delightful addition to our holiday traditions. He is spunky, yet wise and he mixes just the right touch of fun with the truth of the Word. A great way to share God’s love with your children during the Christmas season.
Do you have any fun Christmas traditions in your home?
For more information on obtaining your own adorable sock monkey like the one featured in this post, visit the Squiggly Monkeys Etsy shop.