Please note that I was given a free digital copy of this book to write an honest review.
Hi, everyone! Is it just me, or is anyone else shocked that we are nearing Thanksgiving, to be followed closely by Christmas? It seems this year has flown by faster than any before it.
I’m so pleased to introduce you to my new friend, Melk, The Christmas Monkey. I was so excited to meet him when my friend Katie first told me about him.
Well, for one thing, I think monkeys are adorable. Joe has always been my little monkey (he makes his username munkeejoe now), and I also call Jace “Monkey Junior,” since they are so much alike. 😉
More importantly, I love Christmas. I love celebrating Jesus’ birth (whether or not the holiday originally started out as that, and no I don’t think it is Christ’s literal birthday), singing Christmas carols, participating in Christmas programs at church and following traditions with the family.
However, when the Elf on the Shelf came into (huge) popularity a couple years ago, I almost vomited. Not joking. It’s just my personal opinion (and I’m in no way judging anyone who has enjoyed the guy), but I find it hard to see any value in Mr Elf.
1) He is hideous looking and freaks me out (those eyes…*shudder*).
2) We don’t “do” Santa (we teach the boys about the real St Nicholas, but commercialized Santa is not for us), so telling my kids that a freaky-looking elf is going to tattle to Santa on them would only confuse and annoy them (I can hear Jeremiah now. “Yeah, right, Mama. That ugly elf doll is going to tell Santa Claus, a fake fat guy, about what we’re doing. Suuuure.”)
3) Pretty much everything the elf did, that was supposed to be so much fun, was bad! How in the world does that even make sense? He is misbehaving and going to tattle on kids for misbehaving? Who comes up with this stuff?
In stark contrast, Melk the Christmas Monkey is a sweet character who loves God and Christmas, and wants to get children excited about loving and living for God. Quite a difference!
1) He is darling, OR you can use a treasured friend OR a new friend from any shop down the street – it’s up to you! Katie even says you don’t have to call him Melk if you don’t want to. I love choices.).
2) He goes through spiritual attributes, or character traits, of the Lord, and cements them in kids’ minds in fun and memorable ways.
3) His surprises are always fun, sweet and good, not naughty.
4) In talking about the good things that God is, children are inspired to grow closer to Him and emulate Him.
Melk loves Christmas because this is the time of year when more people than usual think about God and his free gift of salvation. If there is anything Melk loves more than Christmas it is God. Melk loves to learn about God and to share what he learns with others.
Katie has done a fabulous job of weaving fun, tradition and holiness together. This advent devotional and activity book is perfect for the entire family. Even if babies don’t grasp the entire concept, they will still love getting in on the fun Melk brings to the holiday. Melk will melt even the grumpiest Scrooge’s heart.
See what I mean? Who could resist him?
What does Advent mean anyway? You can look up the technical meaning on many Christian websites. We do not celebrate it in the accurate sense of the word. For us, it’s pretty much a countdown until Christmas! Making the whole month of December a special and sacred month of learning more about, drawing closer to and celebrating Jesus and His birth! We have tried Advent products in the past that were too complicated (for me), not engaging enough (for anyone), or that felt kinda pointless or…just not “us.” But Melk is a joy that reminds us to delight in the little things that make Christmas–and every day in the Lord–special.
This book has 30 days worth of short devotionals and activities, for you to break down into whatever you see fit for your family’s schedule. Katie lists all supplies needed for the activity, and lays it all out for you simply. Melk’s letters are easily accessed and printable. The surprises are fun but not extensive, so you won’t be up half the night fulfilling them. (Please be cautious if you have cats, like we do. It would be sad for you and the kids to wake up in the morning only to discover the cats have ruined your surprise!)
I am thrilled to take part in this new tradition. I love how Katie crafted Melk to be grace-based and not works-based. Unlike Mr Elf or Santa, God gives good gifts based on WHO He is, not on what we do or how we act. This is what we try to teach our kids every day, so it’s something I love reinforcing in such a fun way. I can hardly wait until November 30 to start! 🙂 In fact, I think we might start the night of Thanksgiving.
As an added blessing, through November 8th, how would you like to give a Christmas gift & the Gospel to a child in Mexico and get a special set of Melk Coloring Pages for FREE?! Don’t miss out. (Note: if you are interested in donating directly to the children without purchasing the book, please do so here, and God bless you!)
I would love to hear about your adventures with Melk if you decide to have him join your family! 🙂