The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey and Activity Ideas

This Christmas book activity is the perfect way to celebrate the season and help children learn empathy at the same time.

Using The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey for a Christmas Lesson

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Hearts Changed

One of our family favorite Christmas books is The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski.  It’s a story of love, loss, gruffness and a healing heart through the kindness of people and the powerful meaning of Christmas.  We never get tired of pulling this book off our shelf for a cozy read-aloud each December.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey


A Fun Christmas Book Activity

The main character, Jonathan Toomey, is a gruff woodcarver who is excellent at his craft.  Over time, he shares his craft with a very willing little boy.  This was the perfect time to introduce my littlest guy to the art of carving – soap carving, that is.

All it takes is a bar of Ivory soap and a butter knife – and a little imagination.

Soap carving - an activity to go with The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

Loving the Gruff People in our Lives

As we carved, we talked about how hard it is to be patient and loving with gruff people.  We know some…and it takes extra prayer and gentle words (even when we don’t want to) to get through to them.  I asked my little man to come up with some purposeful ideas to bless these gruffies during the Christmas season.  Looks like we’re going to be baking lots of cookies and stopping by to really get to know them – because after all, most gruffies just need someone to care.

(The book that helped him come up with this idea is one of his very favorites that we read over and over and over every year…The Christmas Without a Tree by Elizabeth Rodger.)

Christmas cookies for the "gruffies" in our lives - based on The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

This post has been linked to iHomeschool Network’s Christmas edition of A Book and a Big Idea.  Click below to see the other fun ideas!  Be sure to visit my Silver Packages Book and a Big Idea post, too!

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  1. We love that story. I will have to add the idea of making soap carvings to that book.
    Blessings, Dawn

  2. We’ve always loved that book! Often, gruffness hides a tender heart.

  3. Oh, we haven’t read this book in a couple of years! I love it! 🙂

  4. We love “The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey”. We’ve dabbled a little in carving … so much fun. 🙂

  5. Janelle Knutson says:

    My son asks to read this book over and over again each Christmas. I think he will enjoy doing the soap carving to go along with the story. What a great idea!

  6. It’s one of our very favorites, too! Enjoy the carvings!

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