So it’s November. That means we can start planning for Christmas, right?
I asked Esmé if she wanted to have Melk come back this year, and she was adamant that he should, so Melk and I are planning some new (and repeating) adventures. He’s got a surprise sidekick this year – a critter who will be focused on spreading the love to others…
So who is Melk? Short for Melchior, Melk the Christmas Monkey is kind of like the Christian version of Elf on the Shelf. Each day of the Advent season, he’s got something new going on – always with a note that points his friend to Jesus. Some of you followed his adventures on Facebook last year, and I decided to put them all here in one place for handy dandy reference.
First things first – credit where credit is due. The inspiration for Melk comes from Paradise Praises. If you want a nicely packaged ebook with Bible lessons & activities for 30 days, printable notes, supply lists, etc., here’s where to get it: http://paradisepraises.com/melk/. Many of Melk’s activity ideas came straight from this ebook.
Our Melk took on a life (and voice) of his own – so consider this as a supplement to the original ebook. Because I don’t want to infringe on copyright, I’m summarizing our activities very briefly here without a lot of direction on printables and devotions. If you have questions on anything, feel free to comment or message me, and I’ll do my best to answer offline.
To note: There was no special order to Our Melk’s adventures. It really depended on what I had available at the time and how much time we could spend on activities. It bothers my OCD a bit that it wasn’t more sequential or organized, but the main thing was a focus on Jesus each day. And, on more than one occasion, it was amazing how things came together beautifully and more perfect than I could have possibly planned.
So here we go:
Day 1: Introducing Melk
Melk made his debut by getting involved in a snowflake ballerina craft Esmé and I had already been working on. We had been waiting for the coffee filters to dry, but he couldn’t wait until morning so got right into making those snowflakes. Just his way of letting us know (along with his note) that he was taking over the season’s festivities.
Here is the finished result:
Day 2: Music (Isaiah 51:11)
Esmé’s favorite group, 1 Girl Nation, had just put out a Christmas CD. Melk got first listening rights to this gift… We pulled out all the other Christmas CDs, too.
Day 3: Angels (Psalm 91:11)
Melk got himself into a glittery mess. Later on, Esmé was a bit more proficient with her angel.
Day 4 (December 1st): Advent Promise (James 5:8)
Melk started in on an Advent chain.
Day 5: Light (John 8:12)
Melk needed some help getting untangled so we could put the new lights in the windows. This was also the day that Esmé decided to become nocturnal so she could assist Melk with his adventures. Couldn’t get her to sleep for anything.
Day 6: Pleasure (Revelation 4:11)
Melk was all ready to enjoy a nice cup of hot cocoa, but first he was creating some “happy” artwork with his extra marshmallows.
Day 7: Star of Bethlehem (Matthew 2:2)
Melk was supposed to be making a star with beads, but he got beads confused with Froot Loops and decided it was snack time.
Day 8: The Nativity (Luke 2:10-12)
Melk started in on a sculpey clay nativity scene (using a new pack of clay).
Day 9: Refiner’s Fire (Zechariah 13:9)
Never let a good flame go to waste! It’s marshmallow roasting time, which means, of course, s’mores.
"There burns a fire with sacred heat
White hot with holy flame
And all who dare pass through its blaze
Will not emerge the same
Some as bronze, and some as silver
Some as gold, then with great skill
All are hammered by their sufferings
On the anvil of His will"
~Steve Green lyrics
Day 10: The Bible Story (2 Timothy 3:16)
This was the day Melk pulled out all of our Christmas books for Esmé to enjoy the rest of the season.
Day 11: Gift of Sight (Matthew 12:22-23)
Melk rocked a pair of new sunglasses and checked out a spider in his new bug magnifying glass, while looking forward to using his gift of sight to watch all our Christmas movies.
Day 12: Miracles (Luke 18:27)
Melk planted a candy cane “seed” in hopes of growing an award-winning candy cane – but paperwhites work much better.
The paperwhites just happened to open their blooms on New Year’s Day.
Day 13: Gifts of Gold (Matthew 2:11)
Time for a gold color box!
Day 14: Creator (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Melk celebrated being a unique creation by making his own unique creation – a gingerbread man craft.
"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." ~Dr. Seuss
Day 15: Sweetness (Psalm 34:8)
He got his hand stuck…
Day 16: Merry Heart (Proverbs 17:22)
Melk had a bunch of photo props to try out for funny selfies. Though he looks rather distinguished in this one…
Day 17: Healer (Isaiah 53:5)
A gift of a brand new first aid kit for budding medics in the house.
Day 18: Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7)
So Melk scattered 50 or so printed Christmas jokes all throughout the house while shepherding his marshmallow sheep. Surely, Goodness, and Mercy tend to stick with him pretty well, but Seek is a different sort of sheep... We are still finding the jokes (and “rejoicing” every time).
Day 19: Clothing the Naked (Matthew 25:36)
It was all about things to wear. Melk was sporting the gift of a new pair of slippers while working on princess paper dolls.
Day 20: Snow (and a Comforter) (Isaiah 1:18)
Since we didn’t have any real snow to play in, Melk got things ready for a Borax snowflake. Because the thought of snow makes him cold, he wrapped up in the gift of a new comfy blankie.
Day 21: Fragrance (& Frankincense) (2 Corinthians 2:15)
So Melk wasn’t impressed with new girlie perfume, but he was happy to help make cinnamon ornaments.
The finished fragrant cinnamon ornaments.
Day 22: Foundation (Psalm 118:22)
Melk had the icing ready to go on a gingerbread house kit. I won’t say whether he ate any of the décor before Esmé to up.
Foundation or not, this house isn’t going to last long with these two around.
Day 23: Legend of the Candy Cane
Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me
White is for my Savior
Who's sinless and pure!
"J" is for Jesus,
My Lord, that's for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my Shepherd
Was born for me!
Esmé helped Melk make a sweet wreath.
Day 24: The WORD (John 1:1, 14)
A gift of fine new art pens, along with writing pages.
Day 25: Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5)
Sonny the Lion helped Melk with this gift of the Chronicles of Narnia audiobooks, as well as a paper craft lion.
Day 26: Breakfast in Bethlehem
Melk made breakfast. We kept it simple because he doesn’t have opposable thumbs.
Day 27: Love (1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
A “gifts for Jesus” box, a sapphire necklace, and a valentine’s note from Melk.
What can I give him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
if I were a wise man, I would do my part.
Yet what I can I give him--give my heart.
Day 28 (December 25): Happy Birthday!
I'm so glad it's Christmas.
All the carols and bells make
The holidays swell
And it's all about You.