How Listening to an Audiobook Became a Tradition

This time of year our days are busy with family and holidays and travel and traditions. Today Emily will give us a glimpse into her family’s traveling tradition with a Christmas Classic during the holiday season.

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“Did you find the CDs?” she asked.  “You know the ones we always listen to on the way to Grandma’s. I can’t wait to hear that story again… ”

And so begins our preparation for the holidays, our season of travel.  We travel for Thanksgiving and we travel for Christmas, these are traditions themselves, but today I am talking about one of our specific Holiday Travel Traditions.  It started a few years ago quite by accident.  Either my husband or I had somehow received a free copy of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It had been a long time since we had either one heard the story, so we thought it would be fun for us to listen to on the 300 mile drive across the state.

We never anticipated how much our children would love this particular story.  They ask for it every year even though they know the story well and could tell it themselves.  Our favorite version of A Christmas Carol is the unabridged version produced by Mission Audio and read by Simon Vance.

A Christmas Carol

We love how this particular story, although first released on December 19, 1843, still holds many timeless truths about Christmas, giving, and the condition of one’s heart.  The focus of the book is not specifically about giving, but rather the transformation of an individual and the impact that one person can have on an entire community.  It is a rare occurrence for us to be able see into the future and know how our actions will affect others, but in this story, this is just the gift that Ebenezer is given.

Mr. Scrooge is allowed to see how his past, present, and future are interwoven.  We will not likely see this happen in our own lives all in one night, but if we are careful to reflect, we will see God’s handiwork in our past and present. We can trust that God will use the events of our lives for good and for His Glory.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Occasionally, we listen to A Christmas Carol on the way home from Thanksgiving as a way to kick off the official Christmas season in our household.  This year, we mixed it up a little and listened to Pollyanna during our Thanksgiving trek so the anticipation for A Christmas Carol is still building.

What are your favorite books to read or listen to during the holiday season?

Emily BEmily is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of 4 children.  She loves to share encouragement with other women on her blog At her blog, she writes about faith, life, homeschooling, always trying to keep a sense of wonder alive.

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  1. We don’t go on many long trips and thankfully we are blessed to have all of our family within 20 minutes of our house. But this would be perfect for our next family vacation. We don’t have a DVD playing or anything fancy in our vehicle, so an audio book would be great. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tradition. How long (how may hours) is this book?

  2. We have such fond memories of listening to classics while we traveled. My children always loved it as well. We don’t do it as much anymore, I will have to dig out some of our audios again.

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