The Bates Family


by Kelly on December 20, 2011

At Christmas time, we are always on the lookout for gifts we can give that have purpose or meaning. Giving gifts to express our love can be so fun and rewarding…But I often hear people talk about the frustrations they feel from the holiday season taking on more of a form of commercialism and less of the more meaningful aspects of the holiday like taking time to appreciate the birth of the Savior, time to appreciate loved ones, and time to “spread good cheer!”… So if you want to focus more on “Christ” in Christmas, here’s some gift giving ideas that reflect God’s love and character. dvd
1. Carl Sommer’s series of Character books for children are a delightful way to teach little ones. We often use them to illustrate Scripture lessons during Bible study time. (

books CARL-Photo








2. James Staddon’s Calendars (Available through Lenspirations) display incredible photography work, but they also share a purposeful message!


3. Seeds for the Harvest DVD by Mike Adkins is a motivating story that will challenge your family to give. This is a heartwarming message any time of year, but especially during this season!


4. The Harvest DVD is a heart wrenching and inspiring story of how a community comes together to help a family in need. You will be challenged in your witness for Christ!


{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Melissa W. December 20, 2011 at 11:07 am

We enjoy giving Patch the Pirate CD’s as stocking stuffers to our children. Our whole family enjoys listening to the stories while traveling :)


Krista December 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Dear Kelly,

Have your kids ever watched any of the Veggietales videos? They’re wonderful in building character (each has a theme on building character on a certain aspect). They’re basically just vegetables acting out Bible stories in ways kids can understand them. As a child I had many of these videos and I watched them all the time and the continue to make and distribute new episodes to the series. Definitely worth looking in to!


Lisa December 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Another one your family and your readers would like are the products of “Thy Word Creations”–wonderful, sweet scripture memory cds/books. My kids went to sleep with these for years!


James Staddon December 20, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Great post! and thanks for mentioning the calendar! I’ve seen “The Harvest” and it is truly a heart wrenching story. And now that you’ve recommended “Seeds for the Harvest”, I’ll have to look more into Adkins’ publications. Christmas is indeed the time for sharing! Thanks for posting.


Brenda H. December 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm

I just wanted to wish all the Bates a Blessed & Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year! Let us all pray that the world will remember “Jesus Is The Reason for the Season!” God Bless all.
Brenda H.


Rachel Drake December 20, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Do you own all the character books?


Gil December 21, 2011 at 6:45 am

Dear Rachel,
We do have the set of character books and read one daily! Love, Kelly


Jackie December 20, 2011 at 5:32 pm


If you are receiving compensation for promoting these items, it is only honest that you disclose this to your readers, who trust you.


Gil December 21, 2011 at 6:44 am

Dear Jackie,
We don’t receive any compensation from anything we reccomend. We just like to pass on ideas that have been a blessing to us! Love, Kelly


Lynn December 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm

My girls and I are gonna invite friends over and family. We are going to put on a little play out of the bible. The birth of Jesus. They are excited beings this is the very first time of doing this. I am also!!! We did not know Jesus from the years before, so this year we are making it out to be for Jesus. I went shoppinng the other day and got both my little ones a new Bible. Cant wait to see their little faces on Christmas day!!!
Hope you all have a very blessed Christmas!!!


Patti December 20, 2011 at 6:54 pm

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to the Bates family!


Laura December 21, 2011 at 12:41 am

I always wondered if your family or the duggar family watch veggietales


Juanita December 21, 2011 at 2:57 am

Good ideas. Happy sweet 16 to Tori, and Merry Christmas to all of you!


Beanie December 21, 2011 at 3:55 am

Merry Christmas, Mrs. Kelly! :D After Christmas, me and my family will be going to Kansas where my Daddy is preaching a Revival (he’s a pastor). I’ll give ya’ll a wave, although I doubt you’ll see me… :)


Meggie December 21, 2011 at 6:25 am

We have a family tradition of giving Oxfam gifts – a chicken, a goat, a pig – which goes to a family in a third world country. The kids love going through the catalogue and choosing the gifts, for example “Nanna really like chickens” so Nanna gets a card with a picture of the chickens but the actually birds are delivered to a family in Laos. It is really fun gift, especially for people who really don’t need “stuff”.
Merry Christmas, Meggie


Jolene December 21, 2011 at 9:33 am

Thank you for the list of recommendations! We don’t know you, but really feel like we can trust anything you have to recommend. We are independent Baptist missionaries in Ukraine and have enjoyed seeing your appearances on the Duggar’s TV series. We don’t even get American TV here (probably a good thing) but we bought all of the Duggar’s DVD series to bring back with us to enjoy. Even my children (4 of them) know who the Bates family is!

Merry Christmas, friends!


Sarah December 21, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Dear Kelly,
Please tell Tori Happy 16th Birthday!! I was also wanting to know if Alyssa got my Christmas gift today? Love Sarah


Marilyn December 22, 2011 at 12:24 am

Merry Christmas to all the Bateses! Have a lovely holiday and Safe, Healthy and Happy New Year!


Denise December 22, 2011 at 12:44 am

Happy Holidays to the Bates Family. May you all have a blessed holiday, and thanks for sharing your life with us.. I personally have enjoyed reading about it. I bet this is an exciting time for Zach and Sarah. How are they doing?

Merry Christmas!!!


Gil December 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Dear Denise,
Zach and Sarah are doing great; thank you for asking! Love, Kelly


Kerri-ann December 22, 2011 at 5:49 am

Dear Kelly and family,

I hope you have a great christmas together as a family. Do you do Christmas family photos? It would be great to see a group one and how everyone has grown since the photo in your webpage head. Also, did you take any pictures of your yard after your bithday surprise? Thanks for all the hard work that you put into your web page, it is such a joy to read.

Love always,


Gil December 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm

Dear Kerri-Ann,
Someone just took a family photo for us at a Christmas conference. I’ll try to get a copy to post. I took some yard photos, but the plants were so small, they didn’t show up well. We were told it will take about a year to not have that barren look. Love, Kelly


Mandi December 22, 2011 at 8:26 pm

Merry Christmas Bates family. May you be blessed with the spirit this season.


Beanie December 22, 2011 at 8:41 pm

:D :D :D Thank you so much for your letter, Mrs. Kelly!! :D :D :D


Elaine December 23, 2011 at 12:15 am

Merry Christmas to all the Bates :)


Melanie December 23, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Merry Christmas to the Bates Family. May you have a wonderful Christmas and a joyous New Year.


Lavinia Hapi (New Zealand) December 23, 2011 at 11:20 pm

Merry Christmas Bates Family! God bless you all and have a great holiday!



Selina Bruner December 23, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Just wanted to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas! You have been a blessing to me.


Alice Hull December 24, 2011 at 12:28 am

Hi Bates Family,

We think of you often and pray for you regularly. I am still praying for Chip, Kelly. Anything different? We are so thankful for the privilege of influencing Eric’s foster sons, 7 and 8, with teaching of the Bible and godly living. God bless you in 3012.


Gil December 24, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Dear Alice,
Thank you so much for praying for my brother. He is still on hospice care and his sweet little wife attends to him like an angel. Love, Kelly


Kate December 24, 2011 at 10:04 am

I noticed that it’s Tori’s birthday so – Happy 16th to her! Also Merry Christmas and God bless you and your amazing family.
~Kate, London


Janelle G. March 19, 2012 at 1:18 am

Loved the 1hour special following the Duggars on Tues. night. Hope to see many more as the season progresses. How about a replay on another night of the week like the Duggars used to do?


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