Transcript:  Gifts for Everyone!

Welcome to the Us and Kids podcast. I'm your host Jan Talen. I'm a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a wife, a mom, and a grandma. This Us and Kids podcast is about how to keep on being married forever, while you parent together and make it to the end of this year. Hang in there folks. We'll do it. You and I know this has not been an easy year and being married forever, while you parent together, in this time and year, has not been an easy task. So just a quick reminder. Subscribe to Us and Kids in your podcasting app, because that makes it easier to find... one less headache, when you want to listen to something worthwhile. I'm glad you're here, because I'm cheering for your marriage and your home life to be so fulfilling and good. 

We're trying to figure out ways to end the year well, when we feel, perhaps in many ways, that it has been bumpy. There have been anticipations, and disappointments, and adjustments that just seem non-stop. Sure, there has been good. There has also been struggle and tension, if we're real about it. If maybe not so much in our life, but in the lives of people that we know. And, we don't really know how to do life with these amounts of adjustments and changes. Last week, we talked some about that anticipation, and the way that the biblical wiseman had to make changes and pivots. And, they were tired too, but they ended up in a really, good spot. 

This week, we're going to continue, a little bit, about those wisemen in the Bible story. This is not a "Come to Jesus Moment." This is just, sort of, me reflecting on how the wisemen report that they brought gifts. They report three types of gifts. We think of it as three wisemen, but we don't necessarily know how many wiseman there were, or travelers there were, but we have three gifts that are listed. And, I would just want to talk a little bit about what those gifts are, and making sure that those gifts that are symbols for everyday life are included in our daily living, because it's good.

I'm thinking mostly in terms of gifts that we give our kids. My thought is that you’ve probably figured out something to put under the tree in some way or another. We ended our podcast last time with talking a little bit about prepare your heart, and your mind, and your speech, and your listening, so that you are really present with those that are around you. This is true for our kids too, because our best gifts are mostly in us being present and available. 

Don't go on a crazy guilt trip here, because you've had to work 80 or 90 hours a week. Or, because you had to check out, because you kept being tested positive for COVID, or you kept having a first interaction with somebody. Hey, pause on that shame and blame button, and instead, just come with me for a minute to talk a little bit about the gifts that the wiseman brought into their glorious Christmas, because these are gifts that we can bring into our glorious Christmas, regardless of your faith base. They look like this. 

One of the things that the wiseman brought was gold. Gold was then the standard for purchasing things.
And now, we think of "Oh shoot. I should have invested in gold."
"Sure, I'm glad I invested in gold." Right?
But, let's think about it aside from investing? Or how you can improve your investment of gold. Let’s think about G O L D life skills for your kids. Ones that they will treasure for a lifetime. Things like teaching them, as appropriate for their age, what is the difference between a truth and a lie? I would say to my kids, or I might say to a client, "That's a really interesting story? Is there something more true about it that you would like to tell me?" I'm hinting at some of it's not fully true. But, if I say, "You're lying to me." It inflames everybody's brain, and they can't think. If I say, "Tell me some more truth about what happened is Susie's house it gives room and grace for them to add or adjust information.
If you say to your spouse, "Is there more truth about what happened between five and eight (p.m.) last night?" Perhaps your spouse can hear that you're trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. You're trying to be gracious to them, but you also want them to feel safe and secure enough to be honest with you. That is a gift of a lifetime. 

Other gifts might be your effort in  teaching them how to be compassionate towards others, or how to be generous. Sharing, for little ones, is not easy. Listen to some of our other podcasts about kiddos and their brain development, because being able to genuinely share probably doesn't really happen until they're four or five. Helping them understand how to share and that sharing means you hand it to somebody, and they use it and then they give it back is often an important component of that. Learning how to give gifts to each other  is different than sharing. Giving a gift means you're giving it, and the other person is going to keep it and have fun with it, enjoy it. Those are some skills that we would teach for a lifetime. Those are gold skills. 

Now, you will have other skills that you can think of that you certainly can add to the gold stash there. Think for a minute.  Are you bringing some gold gifts into this Christmas season? Gifts that last a lifetime?

nother gift that the wiseman brought to baby Jesus, or to what they saw as a future king, was frankincense. Frankincense is considered then, and here in some spaces now, a very powerful medicine for healing. And I would like you to think about bringing frankincense into your home. Not the oil, as much as, finding ways to continue to take good care of yourself and good care of others.
Good care... Are we helping our kids go to sleep well and calmly? Are we helping them learn how to sleep all night long? In America, most of the time, we say sleep in your own bed. I don't really care where you sleep. I care whether or not you are all sleeping well and soundly, because of the importance that it has on rebuilding your body, but also on resetting your brain. It would be a way of taking care of yourself.
Are you giving your family the gift of you doing it yourself, and helping others do it (sleeping well and all night long)? I would prefer to stay up later. My husband would prefer to go to bed earlier. Last night, we said, "We're ending the day at 10 o'clock." But at 10 o'clock, you know what, we sat down, and we watched Monday Night Football. We're at 10:15 (p.m.), we had to both say, "Time to end this!"  It's important for us to stay on the same page about good sleep. That meant he stayed up a little bit later. I went to bed a little bit earlier and it worked fine. Give yourself and others that gift of good self care. 

So, I've sort of spent some time on sleep, but let's remember that we could also have good self care about what we eat, about how much alcohol we're drinking. What are we doing with cigarettes, and marijuana, and other extra non-food substances?
How are you helping your kids? Now, you know that they are going to naturally want good food, but the more sugar we give them, the more sugar they're going to crave. Save it for treats. Don't go without. I'm a Grandma. Of course I give my grandkids treats! But we gotta balance it, so that their kiddos know what's the good life skill of sweets and real food.
Other life-care skills could include teaching them how to read. Teaching them how to be silent and how to be interactive. Teaching them how to run fast. Teaching them how to swing... all of those good things, good ways to take care of yourself.
Learning how to do things together, is another really good skill, as is being compassionate. Those are frankincenses. Good health habits that we can use to take care of each other. If there is a spiritual base in your family, continue to build that. If you want to know more about the Christian faith base that I use, then just send me an email, and I'll tell you some about it. 

Let's move on to the third gift that they gave. The wiseman gave a gift of myrrh. Myrrh was used to anoint a king or someone really important. Well, we don't hear about myrrh much in these days. And so, we're like, "Well, I'm not anointing anybody to be king here. That's for sure." I agree with you. But let's look at it this way: Myrrh was used to encourage and to lift someone up. It was used to honor and adore, to hold in high esteem.
These are things we want to do with your kids and with your spouse. These are ways that we want you to act for good mental, and emotional, and relationship health.
The gift of myrrh is a gift of encouragement into a better way of being. And so, these are the words of affirmation. When you've asked someone, "Is there more truth about that story you'd like to tell me?” And, they have the courage to say, "Well, yes." And, they tell you more. You say, "Thank you. I'm really honored that you had the courage to do that." When you say to a kiddo, "Would you please try that again?" And, you do it calmly, and kindly, affirming to them that they can, and they do. Whether or not, it's putting on their shoe, or saying something in a more calm voice, so that you're willing to listen, your honor to them, your gift of myrrh, is saying that was well done. Impressive. And, you look at them with honor, and with appreciation, with value. Those are gifts of myrrh.
And, those are the gifts we want to give each other this Christmas time. Life skills, good self care, and honor, encouragement, and affirmation. 

I'm not making this podcast too long, because I want those to just stay right there with you. Incorporate them with what you put under the tree. Wrap a little gift that says, "I really appreciated what you did this year." And, you list some of them. Put it in a package, and let them open it up. Those gifts have deep meaning, and they stick for a lifetime. 

I am cheering for you. This is not an easy season, but it can be a season that is filled with deep joy and rich connection if you take the energy to do it well.
Stay in the journey. Wrap up those gifts. Give them generously. It will be good for your heart, and mind, and soul, and good for those that receive it.

Once again, I want to say thank you for joining me today, for listening to this little journey about the gifts that we find in the ancient story in the Bible, but gifts that are valuable to us every day. We will soon have another run of the DNA For Fun Communications Course ready to go. And, you can find out information about that on the Us and Kids website. I will look forward to talking with you again next week. Take care of each other. Thank you for joining. Bye Bye.



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