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Gifts for the New Year
Berny Unruh

The presents are unwrapped and some of us are trying to remember if anyone was forgotten. Or maybe if you are like me, a gift was hidden away and did not get under the tree? 

I shared this column two years ago and I believe maybe we need to be reminded of this now more than in December of 2019. 

Here are ten gifts that I believe we need to give our children. These were shared by a speaker at a national 4-H meeting many years ago.  

1. The joy of learning. Hopefully, we never stop learning. We can encourage our children to listen to others and learn from them. Teachers and all those who are interested in their well-being have a gift to share.

2. The gift of hope. Isn’t it nice to know there’s still hope for our young people? Give them hope in a world that weighs a little too heavy on the negative.

3. The gift of communication. Learn to communicate with your spouse and with your children. Communication involves listening and then responding and then listening again.

4. The gift of laughter. Experts say we need to laugh 15 times a day to stay healthy.

5. The gift of uniqueness. Let’s teach our children to be themselves. We do need role models, but we do not need our children to be just like so-and-so.

6. The gift of flexibility. Try new things. Do new things. Today is different than yesterday.

7. The gift of balance. We all need a good balance of work and play. Maybe as grownups we need to go fly a kite or play a game of dominos.

8. The gift of respect. To earn respect, you must be respectful. Our children’s thoughts and opinions are very important and we need to respect them.

9. The gift of spirituality. Time to get to know ourselves is needed in today’s busy lifestyle. Preschoolers often get a “time out” to think about it. Maybe adults need the same thing?

10. The gift of love. The most personal and special present is YOU! Your time may be the best way to share your love.

Berny Unruh is the Family and Community Wellness Agent for the Cottonwood Extension District.  She can be reached at 785-628-9430 or at