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Let’s Talk Tech & Christmas (with Anna!)

Christmas is an amazing time to remember the gifts God has given us: His only son and the Holy Spirit (Lk. 11:11). As parents we get a chance to show our children a bit of what it means to give good gifts, and today we’re going to talk about how.

Today we address:

1. A great way to think about gift purchasing
2. How to assess new tech for your family
3. Ten analog adventure gifts for Christmas!

Check out our new partner: Gabb Wireless! ( Use this link to get a free phone with a 2-year contract and $20 towards accessories.

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Purposely. Your life. God’s purpose. Listen at

Nathan Sutherland: Hello everyone and welcome to the Gospel Tech podcast. My name is Nathan Sutherland and this podcast is dedicated to helping families love God and use tech. Today we have Anna with us. Welcome.

Anna Sutherland: Hi. 

Nathan Sutherland: And we are gonna be talking about Christmas, specifically about Christmas gifts. How to give them, why we give them, and what we can do to intentionally ensure that our gifts are going to be loving to our kiddos. We’re giving them good gifts and that if they have to do with digital, that they’re gonna be intentionally given that we’re not just giving them things because they want them, but we’re giving them good gifts.

So with no further ado, let’s get this conversation started.

Welcome to the Gospel Tech Podcast, a resource for parents who feel overwhelmed and outpaced as they raise healthy youth in a tech world. As an educator, parent and tech user, I want to [00:01:00] equip parents with the tools, resources, and confidence they need to raise kids who love God and use tech.

Thank you to everyone who has made this podcast possible. Thank you for listening. Thank you for sharing it with your friends and telling people about it. And thank you for rating and reviewing. So a quick word on that last part. If you have not yet, please rate us out of five stars wherever you listen.

You can do it on Spotify, you can do it on Apple Podcasts, Five Stars. We’re trying to make a five star product here, and if it’s not, would you send me any comment, concerns, suggestions to And if you do rate us outta five stars, would you also consider leaving a one or two sentence review?

That means that people will find us more likely when they’re searching for great content because of the rated five star piece. And then the review helps ’em know why people like it so they can see if it fits with their goals for their family and for their faith. [00:02:00] So thank you for doing that. Thank you specifically to Phoenix, Arizona… You’re blowing up right now, which is awesome. And what that means is someone found us. We don’t know anyone in Phoenix, so that means you probably found us through a search. 

Anna Sutherland: We know people near Phoenix. 

Nathan Sutherland: We know people near Phoenix. That’s true. But this is all, all the growth we’ve seen in the last week was Phoenix specifically.

My guess is someone told someone. Because it’s more than a person’s worth of listening. So. 

Anna Sutherland: It’s just the one person we know. 

Nathan Sutherland: Just one person,

Anna Sutherland: all their devices. 

Nathan Sutherland: Spamming. Yeah. Computer iPhones. Thank you.

Anna Sutherland: We appreciate it. 

Nathan Sutherland: We appreciate just the the cacophony of gospel tech listening you’re doing then. So thank you guys for, for being a part of that and for helping us reach more families with the hope of the gospel and raising healthy youth in a tech world. And on that note, I’m excited to introduce you to our newest partner, Gab Wireless. Gab Wireless provides dumb phones. They provide phones that do what we want a phone to do.

They allow phone calls, they allow text messaging. They allow us to take [00:03:00] pictures, have gps, and even listen to music. But they do not have web browsers, app stores. They don’t allow you to receive images that are texted, and they allow us to get all the tool tech out of a smartphone, with none of the drool tech, they’re not app delivery systems.

They Gab wireless. If you go gab, you can check out their phones. They have watches. And right now, Black Friday just started. So. Since we are partnered with him, you can enter Gospel Tech in at checkout or you can use the link down to the profile and it will send you to a specialty where you can get a free phone with a two year contract and you can get a $20 towards buying accessories like a phone case.

So check ’em out,, check the link at the bottom, and know that this is an amazing resource. If you’re looking for a smartphone or a safe, dumb phone, Gab Wireless has got a great resource for you. Today’s conversation, we’re talking about Christmas, 

Anna Sutherland: mm-hmm

Nathan Sutherland: and how we can give good gifts and be intentional with giving them the digital gifts. So I guess first let’s talk about gift giving. Why? Why gifts? 

Anna Sutherland: Because Santa, because ,

Nathan Sutherland: Because Santa. 

Anna Sutherland: Oh, [00:04:00] is that the 

Nathan Sutherland: Point ,point two. All right. Moving on. 

Anna Sutherland: Just wanna have a hot take, for all the people who don’t like Santa . 

Nathan Sutherland: Perfect. Well, you got ’em. They’re listening now. I think we’re like mildly more biblical than that.

Anna Sutherland: Oh, sorry. 

Nathan Sutherland: Reasoning,

Anna Sutherland: I mean, Jesus. 

Nathan Sutherland: There we go. Yeah. Perfect. And we’ll move on. We know that all Sunday school answers are just Jesus. So say that. But we’re coming out of Luke 11 for this. And would you read that for us? 

Anna Sutherland: Sure. It says what Father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent? Or if he asks for an egg, we’ll give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him? 

Nathan Sutherland: And I just, when we talk about gifts, like Christmas absolutely is about the gift of Jesus being sent from heaven. And we could have used John one which was Anna’s suggestion, and then it was such a deep [00:05:00] text. I was like, this is gonna actually just make it more confusing. We could use John 3:16. We can use any number verses we could use Isaiah 9. But the idea is Jesus is a gift sent by God to redeem God’s creation and to specifically humans to relationship with God.

So this is the gift that we’ve been given in this text in Luke 11, we’re told that Jesus isn’t the only gift. In fact, we can ask God for the Holy Spirit and that Jesus himself says the reason I’m going away, it’s actually better for you that as oh my goodness, JD Greer, I almost forgot his name, wrote in his just the title of his book, that Jesus, the Holy Spirit inside us is better than Jesus beside us.

That Jesus says it’s better that I go away. I’m gonna send you a helper, that this is part of the great plan is that I’m actually gonna intercede for you at the right hand of the Father, and the Holy Spirit is gonna be doing these works in you and through you. So when we talk about gifts for Christmas, The gifts we give our kids are just a teeny tiny microcosm of giving them awesome.

A little bit of awesome that shows them our [00:06:00] love for them and shows them God loves, for God’s love for them and allows them to really grow into who God has designed and calling them to be. So that’s our premise for today.

Anna Sutherland: Mm-hmm. 

Nathan Sutherland: Is giving good gifts, which brings us to, all right, Like, how do we do that? How do we intentionally give? And Anna, I’m gonna actually flip these two points. 

Anna Sutherland: Okay. 

Nathan Sutherland: So we’re gonna. Our third just cuz it, how do we, how do we give good gifts and how can we be intentional in that? We have a method that you heard or made up, I don’t you, you use for our family,

Anna Sutherland: I don’t know the internet.

Nathan Sutherland: Pinterest somewhere. 

Anna Sutherland: Yes, we, when we shop for Christmas, and this isn’t the only way to shop for presents, but the idea is just to be intentional with our gift giving. And this is a tool that helps us and it’s. The buying the four gifts is something you need something to . 

Nathan Sutherland: We write this one down

Anna Sutherland: Let me start over. Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read, are the four presents. [00:07:00] That’s how we intentionally purchase presents for our children and then they get stocking stuffers, just little silly gifts. But the four, it helps both of us. I feel like it helps them kind of reign in their wishlist when they’re flipping through the Amazon or Target catalog, and circling every other thing.

Like, Great, remember we’re buying you four things and they’re gonna fit in these categories. So even though you maybe don’t want like clothes, clothes, , you are going to get, which our boys never want clothes. Sometimes they’ll get excited about a Dude Perfect hoodie. You can trick ’em with that. But like the 

Nathan Sutherland: Barely even clothes at that point.

Anna Sutherland: Yeah. The four categories help them kind of reign in expectations and tamper down. Like, this is not just an onslaught of gifts under the tree for you, because that’s a fun part of Christmas, but that’s not the only part of Christmas. And it really helps us on our side too, to be intentional with what we purchase.

So it’ not just whatever we see that [00:08:00] they might like or every, like, how do we know how much is enough or how much do we spend? And you can obviously spend as much as you want on those four presents, but it helps us kind of stick to our budget that we’ve set for Christmas shopping.

Nathan Sutherland: Which is really nice cuz I know I can guilt myself and to be like, Oh, I just like that one more thing. Like, I’ll just do one more thing.

Anna Sutherland: Yes. Yeah, it kind of puts some parameters on what we, we end up buying them. So I feel like that part makes, it forces us to be intentional with Okay. What’s something that would be really fun for you to get? They still get a fun

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. Maybe walk us through like what’s a what? They won’t hear this.

Anna Sutherland: Yeah, don’t tell them. Cause I have already bought their presents. 

Nathan Sutherland: Oh. You’re gonna get hate mail for that. 

Anna Sutherland: I know. Sorry. You can blame my mom. It’s a hereditary early Christmas shopping. What were you gonna ask? 

Nathan Sutherland: Oh, just like, walk us through. Cause like that’s, we have the framework now we have four different ideas.

This is how we kind of focus intentional gift giving. And then in that we go, All right, Yeah, what would they want, What would be [00:09:00] good for them? Right? Like, that’s part of the conversation. But what have you done in this area specifically? Like what are the kids getting, for example? 

Anna Sutherland: Okay. Well they get books, so I try and pick books that are ones that are either continuing a series like Owen is reading the Little House books.

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. 

Anna Sutherland: Slowly but surely. So he is getting the next one in that I can’t remember what book I got, Henry. He’s something that is like in the vein of interest, but maybe a little bit like a more special edition or a prettier copy.

Nathan Sutherland: Sure. 

Anna Sutherland: Of a book. So it’s like a nicer one to put in their collection. And then the clothes thing. Oh, they wanted, like it’s, I tried to still have it be something, like I said, the Dude Perfect one, like something to wear is something fun for them to wear. Not just like, here’s some, some years it maybe has been underwear and jeans because that’s actually the thing that they [00:10:00] needed to have in the closet.

But it is a good, like, great, you are gonna get something that you actually need to have in your life and it’s going to, you know, that that is going to also be a Christmas present. That’s helpful for me for them to have that happen. And then the something you want, they both had like big Lego sets and board games on their Christmas list this year. So I think they, I don’t wanna give it away. What if somebody,  It’s okay. You don’t have to say it out loud. I think that idea and then they say it to our kids. So they are both very into board games. The boys are in the board games and into Legos still. So those are kind of their big, like, fun. Henry maybe was still at one of the Hot Wheels.

The Costco aisle gets us with the, like, as far as the, they’ll walk through and then be like, I need this thing that I’m never gonna play with again. So I feel like we try, I try really hard to be purposeful with our presents and I think the four helps us do that because I don’t like one wasting our money.[00:11:00] And two, I don’t like clutter in our house, so I… 

Nathan Sutherland: No you don’t. 

Anna Sutherland: The four presents eliminates some of the little cluttery things that are gonna end up broken or played with for five minutes. Or nobody actually like, you wanted that cuz you saw it at Costco and it was a big like wow factor and then you’re not, it’s not gonna be a long term thing that gets played within our house.

So I try really hard to not buy those things. 

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah.

Anna Sutherland: I can’t remember what Hadley’s getting.

Nathan Sutherland: It’s, it’s okay. She and she won’t either. This is the joy of being three. 

Anna Sutherland: Oh. She’s getting little, girls are fun to shop for. She’s getting some little figurines, like little Doll things.

Nathan Sutherland: Oh, 

Anna Sutherland: That’s her win. 

Nathan Sutherland: she’s gonna love that.

Anna Sutherland: Yeah.

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. And three is like the perfect age cuz she’s gonna be so pumped. 

Anna Sutherland: She knows. Yes. I feel like that will be fun. And she’s getting cute little, That was her book was the baby lit. Which one did we get her? Now that you’re asking me? She got a couple that, cuz grandma, 

Nathan Sutherland: It wasn’t Little Women. [00:12:00] She already has that.

Anna Sutherland: It’s, I think it was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Nathan Sutherland: Yes. 

Anna Sutherland: Like the baby lit primers. Those are cute. Anyway.

Nathan Sutherland: Those are super cute. So that’s, then when we talk about gifts.

Anna Sutherland: Yes. 

Nathan Sutherland: A way we’re going about it. To give intentional gifts. 

Anna Sutherland: Yeah.

Nathan Sutherland: And we do just listeners so you can kind of know where we’re coming from. We tend to steer away from digital. We aim for what I like to call analog adventures and really doing that for a couple reasons. One is because it’s really easy to get overstimulated when we’re dealing with digital tech. It just, even when you’re playing really simple video games, for example it’s just easy to do things at a pace that’s faster than real life.

So yes, we’ve given our kids DVDs before for Christmas, for like road trips. Yes, we’ve you know, given them things that are digital in, in form, but just know that one, that can be overstimulated. Two, many kinds of what we call drool tech, that entertainment tech, tech, let’s focus on consuming come with other goals.

They want to take your time and your focus and your money. So we just, we genuinely steer away from it. . [00:13:00] And as part of these gifts we set up like our spaces, like we’re clearing out room right now so that there’s more Lego space intentionally. Not just because we think Legos are magical, but because our kids are into ’em and we want space for board games and Legos as part of our life.

It’s part of our rhythm. And so as we look at giving good gifts, we’re also supporting that with how we structure our time and how we structure physical spaces in our home. 

Anna Sutherland: Yeah. 

Nathan Sutherland: So then on that, let’s talk, Alright. Someone wants to give a digital gift though. So we have those four categories that can kind of help us think through 

Anna Sutherland: Mm-hmm.

Nathan Sutherland: Should we give a digital gift and really, at the end of the day, like, that’s fine. Like your family needs to make sure it’s a good fit and there actually is a way to know if it’s a good fit. So when we talk about should we give digital gifts, there’s really three questions we need to ask. The first is simply, is it safe?

Like, is this technology safe for your child? Is it safe for your home? Not just All right. Big picture safe. Like should anyone use this [00:14:00] technology as we’re we’re trying to get here.

Anna Sutherland: Like a good, safe digital tech, could be a record player, 

Nathan Sutherland: like a record player, 

Anna Sutherland: so, well, I guess you could listen to inappropriate music on your record player, but you’re not gonna have any stranger danger.

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. 

Anna Sutherland: On your record player,

Nathan Sutherland: Much easier to control. 

Anna Sutherland: And everyone’s gonna hear it at the same time. 

Nathan Sutherland: Yep. And it can’t loop endlessly. Like you get four songs and then you flip it over. 

Anna Sutherland: Yeah.

Nathan Sutherland: And it requires your attention. And and that is a nice way also like a gab phone for a dumb phone. So here’s how you can get to the point of whether you know you need a Gab Phone versus is it safe?

Basically you’re looking for, does it have access to the internet? Is it, does it come with apps? Does it follow the drool tech design designed for consumption or for creating? And as an aside on that the example would be are you making something with your own time and talents or are you participating in something someone else already made?

Again, it doesn’t mean good or bad, it just lets you know, is it, does it gonna have [00:15:00] goals of its own? So internet apps, is it drool tech? And the last one really is, does it have accountability? Is, does it have a way for you to be present with your child when you send them into that digital space that you’re not sending them by themself?

You’re not letting them meander amongst the strangers and the bullies and the unsafe and unhelpful content of the internet. But you can be a part of that loving conversation. So that’s the first thing is we need to make sure, is it safe? 

Anna Sutherland: Can I say something about that too? 

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. 

Anna Sutherland: I think that, part might vary a little bit depending on the age of your children.

Nathan Sutherland: Mm-hmm. 

Anna Sutherland: like a four year old. What’s safer for a four year old to engage in online or in a digital space is gonna be different than your 17 year old. And I think you’ve probably had this conversation on here before, but like the, the parallel is like, You don’t drive the car until you’ve earned trust to drive the car, right?

Like you, you had to go through driver training, or you had to do so many hours, you had to pass a test, and we can take your keys away if you’re not doing [00:16:00] X, Y, and Z, or you know, maybe your kid has to pay for insurance or gas, whatever. There’s responsibility that comes with that. The same is true for tech and handing over.

So in the same way, like. In a magical Lexus commercial, you got a car for Christmas. Let’s say your kid’s getting an iPhone. iPhone for Christmas, like you would still expect your child to be a safe driver with the new car. You need to, there needs to be expectation of we’re gonna be a safe user of this new technology. Right?

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. Yeah. 

Anna Sutherland: And that’s different for your age. The ages and the trustworthiness of each child. 

Nathan Sutherland: Yes. I actually don’t think that changes whether the item is safe, that that actually comes down. That’s the third question. Oh, okay. Is that a specific one? But that’s absolutely right, and we use Luke 16:10 for that, that if you’re trustworthy and little, you’ll be trustworthy and much so.

Let me come back to that cause I don’t wanna convolute these. 

Anna Sutherland: Oh, sorry. 

Nathan Sutherland: No, it’s okay. I’m actually trying to be clear. Look at me having multiple clear points. [00:17:00] But first, is it safe? Is cuz like things that are on the internet, things that have apps, they can get to unsafe spots. And even a 17 year old that might be a poor choice.

Depending on the type of technology we’re talking about. There are games, there are apps that are just a bad choice to use. So. Look into that thing first. Second is, does it fit your family expectations? And this is where we’ll look at Philippians 4:8, where we’re saying, alright, our standard for technology is, alright, is it true?

Is it honorable? Is it just, is it pure? Like if we just take those first four, like, does this technology improve our ability to see God, right? True, honorable, just pure. Or is it distracting or denigrating? Does it somehow bring us away from God, just by the nature of what it does and, and what it causes us to access and how it causes us to act.

So we need family expectations and really a biblical standard for our tech use is the second piece. The third then, which Anna just nailed, is, 

Anna Sutherland: I’m sorry, I jumped in.

Nathan Sutherland: Does it? Well, it’s great. Does it support our child’s [00:18:00] potential and their purpose? And Galatians 5:22 is really where I go for that. But this idea of if my child is using this technology, does it bring out the fruit of the spirit?

Does when my kid uses this thing, is it going to help them extend love and joy and peace and patience and kindness, goodness, and faithfulness, and self-control? Like, if it does, then that’s great. It can change by the kid, right? For a five year old that might be different than a 15 year old for what is going to be wise for them to engage.

The opposite of that, by the way, if you just go back three verses from Galatians 5:22, 5:19 talks about, well, alright, does it increase sexual immorality, Impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, And I think this group, hatred, discord, jealousy fits of rage. Like 

Anna Sutherland: Selfish ambition. 

Nathan Sutherland: Selfish ambition, if that’s most of our social media use, That’s most of the content of big time video games and movies.

Anna Sutherland: Sorry, the list keeps going. Dissension, factions, huh? 

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. Right. 

Anna Sutherland: Envy.[00:19:00] 

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. And, and then the other two are drunkenness and orgies and, and, and the like, . So when we look at the technology that our kids are using, when we’re looking at getting them a digital device of some variety. Ask, is it going to be safe?

Does it fit family and biblical standards? And is it going to support my child, produce the fruit in accordance with being connected with Jesus? Is it gonna make ’em better at that or is it just maybe a little too far for fun and we need to like, take a step back and get ’em something else? So when you’re looking at it, let’s take a half step back.

First, we know why we give gifts for Christmas because we’ve been given the best gift of Jesus. And Jesus said, I’m gonna give you the gift of the Holy Spirit. That’s why this is happening. It’s, yes, I’m gonna save you. But God had been saving people since the Old Testament. Abraham saved. Moses saved. David is saved.

They were saved by faith the same way we are. And Jesus says, No, no, it’s even more. I’m gonna win you the Holy Spirit to indwell you. God’s not gonna stay in a tabernacle. He’s gonna dwell you as the tabernacle. And [00:20:00] that is a huge win. So we give gifts to our kids cuz we love them and we give good gifts, like Jesus talks about in Luke 11.

Then we can give those four categories of gifts. That’s a way to think about it. And we can figure out. What about digital gifts? How do I know if these are safe? Is it, we ask, is it safe? We ask, does it fit our family expectations? And then finally, Does it fit our child’s purpose and potential? I thought it’d be kind of fun to wrap up this conversation with some examples from our lives.

So Anna and I have both blind written down five gifts that are fitting in the kind of that analog adventure category. So analog adventure right being the non-digital gifts and kind of the best gifts we’ve received, and a little explanation on why. 

Anna Sutherland: Oh, I just, I wrote the best gifts our kids have received that they’ve been happy about.

Nathan Sutherland: Oh, I did this wrong. I could probably think really quick. I’ll think spontaneously.

Anna Sutherland: I don’t feel like people care what I got. 

Nathan Sutherland: Well, I didn’t. All right. I thought I was thinking back to like my childhood, like [00:21:00] the best gifts.

Anna Sutherland: Oh, sure okay. Well if 

Nathan Sutherland: like to give inspiration, but let’s do it this way. I like your way better. This is the problem with doing it live. 

Anna Sutherland: We did different things.

Nathan Sutherland: Go on.

Anna Sutherland: Okay. 

Nathan Sutherland: Let’s go. Go on. 

Anna Sutherland: I thought of the top five things that our kids have been excited about getting. 

Nathan Sutherland: Yes. I love that. 

Anna Sutherland: Okay. 

Nathan Sutherland: We might, 

Anna Sutherland: Do you want me to go first? 

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah, please. 

Okay. You can think about some things while I say. Okay. We broke our four gifts things one year.

Oh, our first example.

Anna Sutherland: Our first example is we didn’t do what we said we did, but it was, the boys were still pretty little and it was ,you guys the winters are a real thing. And one year Santa, it wasn’t Santa, but just wanna say Santa cuz I know it ruffles feathers. Santa brought a trampoline a couple days before Christmas and it was the best money we have ever spent. Yeah, I know trampolines are a little controversial for people too. 

Nathan Sutherland: Are they really?[00:22:00] 

Anna Sutherland: I think our insurance agent feels stressed about them. 

Nathan Sutherland: He owns one.

Anna Sutherland: He owns a very safe one. 

Nathan Sutherland: We just outed you. Insurance . 

Anna Sutherland: I think ours probably stresses him out with its metal poles, 

Nathan Sutherland: metal poles that the foam has fallen off of. And our kids just WWE wrestling inside it. 

Anna Sutherland: But it has been the best money that we’ve spent and they were so excited about it. And it’s, 

Nathan Sutherland: yeah,

Anna Sutherland: It takes up our entire backyard. It’s been worth every penny. 

Nathan Sutherland: Okay. All right. Yeah, I’m I’m just gonna go more, actually, I’ve decided I’m going to waffle in between these two and go like, big picture. So my gift is both for me and what our kids get pumped about is board games. 

Anna Sutherland: You can’t take all board games. 

Nathan Sutherland: You want me to pick a specific one? 

Anna Sutherland: No, I didn’t actually pick any. Okay.

Nathan Sutherland: Alright But board games. So for me, like it’s regularly on my list now 

Anna Sutherland: It’s always on your list. 

Nathan Sutherland: It is, but I wanted to point out that the reason I’m into board games after giving up video games, it was not a smooth transition.

I found a game my mom had given [00:23:00] me like 10 years previously, old school game called The Choir, and I opened it and played it with a friend and was like that wasn’t terrible and slowly realized that maybe board games have hope because I only knew Monopoly before that and I’d never played this game that mom ran out and got me.

Anna Sutherland: Some of us like Monopoly. 

Nathan Sutherland: Monopoly is like the most rage quitting I’ve played with you and your brother and dad and we barely spoke to each other afterwards. So like

Anna Sutherland: It’s great.

Nathan Sutherland: Monopoly. It’s got a certain thing going for it, but it’s. You don’t beat people, you destroy them and buy their properties away from them, against their will, and it’s a terrible experience.

So not all of us are into that, Anna. But that would be board games. Games that are still fun, competitive, but happen it’s very hard to get overstimulated playing a board game. So that’s my, that’s my vote. 

Anna Sutherland: Okay. My next one is photo books, of like, a trip or experience that we had during the year. So I just make a quick little chatbook or something and wrap it up. And I feel like it’s fun [00:24:00] for ,the kids still like ’em, but I feel like grandparents, that is a, I guess that’s an everybody present. 

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. 

Anna Sutherland: But the photo books are fun. 

Nathan Sutherland: They’re amazing. So Chatbooks was the group, Is that always who you use? You make the little ones and the big ones.

Anna Sutherland: I use Chatbooks, or I used to use Shutterfly more.

Nathan Sutherland: Okay. 

Anna Sutherland: Costco has a good deal too. 

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. So just as a plug for Anna’s photo books, they’re amazing and they’re such a,

Anna Sutherland: Well, just because the app is really easy.

Nathan Sutherland: Which is great, right? That’s, I wanna encourage people, This isn’t just like only artists, people can do this anymore, like Chatbooks and Shutterfly.

So two ways Anna use them .

Anna Sutherland: They’re not a sponsor, but if you’d like to sponsor us,

Nathan Sutherland: we would love it. 

Anna Sutherland: We’re available.

Nathan Sutherland: We, we believe in what you’re doing. But really with both of those resources, two ways Anna’s use it that I get blessed by and that our kids really they take off with is little books. Like she’ll just do 30 pictures for like summer. 

Anna Sutherland: Oh, those are the Chatbook minis. They can do, like, they do one a month. It’s. Well, they just raised their prices. It’s $7.

Nathan Sutherland: Okay. 

Anna Sutherland: For the month of 30 pictures. But it is really nice to get ’em off your phone and, 

Nathan Sutherland: and hold them, 

Anna Sutherland: [00:25:00] hold ’em, get ’em. 

Nathan Sutherland: Because regularly our children, like once a week, our children, she keeps ’em in a little bin out on a side table and the kids will grab ’em and just be flipping through.

And it might be from before they were born, Like some of ’em are just when Owen was a baby or whatever. And so wherever you’re at, just making one is fun. It’s a way to memorialize a cool trip and like, When we go to a big trip, We’ve done those before, so like a bigger one. So yeah, I would like to double down on that.

Yeah. Mine, I’m gonna begin with the hybrid model because we’ve already said books, but an example would be way back in elementary school, my parents bought me the books of Red Wall. 

Anna Sutherland: All of them? 

Nathan Sutherland: Nope. One a Christmas 

Anna Sutherland: Oh one every Christmas.

Nathan Sutherland: It was like a tradition as like that’s a Red Wall book. And they got me a hard hardback and I got to meet Brian Jakes when he came to town one time, like as a kid who was not a natural reader, like I still am not. Like, if I have free time, I’d rather write something than read something. And so it was, 

Anna Sutherland: You’d rather probably do a lot of other things. 

Nathan Sutherland: I’d rather do it. I’d rather stare at a wall, but I’m not a natural reader. It’s not effortless for me. So this was a really cool way, and that was really the one that made it click for me [00:26:00] was the Red Wall books were the thing that got me into reading.

I had friends who were into it, and that was my first like little. I guess nerdy reading group of, of buddies, and that kept for years. And then it just became a tradition. So even in high school I was getting them still. 

Anna Sutherland: That’s cute. 

Nathan Sutherland: They’re, they’re sweet books. So books can continue being a thing. And if you find a good series, that can be a fun one to get. 

Anna Sutherland: Yes. Okay. My next one is, this could just generally be an experience but our kids really love going tubing. 

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah.

Anna Sutherland: At Snoqualmie is our local, like go and do the big inner tubes on a groomed hill,

Nathan Sutherland: Of course. Yeah. 

Anna Sutherland: Yeah. So tickets to something like an outdoor for, for them they love like tickets to an outdoor winter activity.

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. And a couple years ago we did snowmobiling last year. Oh my goodness. 

Anna Sutherland: That was just last year. The longest to go snowing. That was a papa present. 

Nathan Sutherland: Well it was that idea of like, this is a winter specific way over the top like experience that we’re gonna go do? 

Anna Sutherland: Yep. 

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah, [00:27:00] for I put down like they love like sports stuff, so that’s very generic.

It can be for us, everything from like Nerf, but like for me getting personally now as an adult, like I get cycling stuff and it can be a blessing for our kids. Like I don’t, how would you say, spoil them a little, Like get them that thing that they wouldn’t be able to buy themselves. They don’t maybe need but can be a blessing in that hobby that they are interested in.

Anna Sutherland: One of mine was their they have started to be interested in archery. So they both for their birthdays are, the boys are getting bo boat new bows, so they can go to the, We have a random archery range, five minutes from our house. 

Nathan Sutherland: Such a big deal too. We didn’t realize. 

Anna Sutherland: And they, we drove by it. We drive the road multiple times a week and they always are like, Can we go? Can we go? Can we go? And we started. Finally we were like, Sure you can go. And they really like it. So they are both getting bows and that was a fun

Nathan Sutherland: yeah .

Anna Sutherland: A fun thing to be able to buy them. Yeah. 

Nathan Sutherland: And when we talk [00:28:00] like hobbies, I, I love this idea of like, a hobby is supposed to help you gain life experience.

And the cool part about it not being just a digital experience is all the things that like a video game version doesn’t include. So when we’re getting our kids bows, we may never go hunting. I’m not a big game hunter. I know a lot of people are. But this is gonna be something that we go and do together.

It’s a skill to develop and it’s something that. Are passionate about and relatively cheap when it comes to getting into sports, especially compared to cycling.

Anna Sutherland: What’s your last one? 

Nathan Sutherland: My, my last one, I, I actually have a pair cuz I’ve only, I’ve only done, I have five, so I did board games, books, cycling or hobbies.

And then I have two more.

Anna Sutherland: Oh, okay.

Nathan Sutherland: So I would say like an activity based, like, like for me it was cookbooks that I got. Oh, that was your favorite? Yeah, it got me into pies and I, I’ve never thought of myself as a baker. So now I don’t hunt big game and I do bake pies. So on the Jacob Esau scale, you can say which way , I probably lean but.

That was really cool 

Anna Sutherland: We’re very thankful [00:29:00] for your pie baking. 

Nathan Sutherland: It’s fantastic. And so I love that. I actually love giving it to people and letting ’em put in sticky notes and picking it out. Except, sorry, Ryan, for never making you your pair of pie, but I’ve made all that.

Anna Sutherland: It’s coming this year for 40. We’re saving it for 40.

Nathan Sutherland: Oh, hey, now I’m like committed. That’s verbal contracts. But the cookbook and then the last one is activities. 

Anna Sutherland: Oh, I have one more.

Nathan Sutherland: Oh, go ahead. 

Anna Sutherland: Right. 

Nathan Sutherland: Activities for us. I’ll go two in a row and then you can go,

Anna Sutherland: Oh, I can go

Nathan Sutherland: activities for us like date night. 

Anna Sutherland: Oh, like dates? Yeah.

Nathan Sutherland: And even if it’s not all like before I’ve asked for just like, would you please put money towards a weekend away for Anna and I or would you just watch our kids?

Like, can we do that? 

Anna Sutherland: Yeah. 

Nathan Sutherland: For like a gift and. While that doesn’t apply directly to our young children,

Anna Sutherland: it does because then we’re happy

Nathan Sutherland: because then we are, can actually speak full sentences since some of us are asleep by 8:00 PM it is important. For us to be able to do that.

Anna Sutherland: Yeah. 

Nathan Sutherland: That feel like a shot? Sorry. 

Anna Sutherland: No, that’s fine. I’m not asleep ba, but I’m pretty brain dead. .

Nathan Sutherland: Okay. 

Anna Sutherland: My last one is I’m taking all of Legos.[00:30:00] 

Nathan Sutherland: Oh, . I’m taking all, You told me not to take board games and didn’t have, 

Anna Sutherland: You took books and hobbies. You just picked the biggest, broadest strokes. 

Nathan Sutherland: We did it. We did it blind.

Anna Sutherland: I pick presents. I love presents Legos.

Okay. But here is our, this is what we’ve started doing. When we’ve done like a family Lego gift. 

Nathan Sutherland: Oh.

Anna Sutherland: And this helps because if you have kids like ours, our oldest has turned a corner because normally he would get a, he just had a birthday and he got a big Lego set from grandma. Normally that thing would be done in the next 24 hours.

Nathan Sutherland: Yes.

Anna Sutherland: And it is sitting on his desk. And I, I’m trying really hard not to ask him, like I know he has a day he’s waiting for.

Nathan Sutherland: Yes. He has not forgotten it. 

Anna Sutherland: No. He is purposely like saving it. I don’t know what date, but normally, like when and when Henry gets a Lego set for his birthday, he will open it and work on it until like, until it’s done for as long as it takes him.

So to have [00:31:00] it be more of a family experience, we’ve bought a couple themed sets and worked on ’em together. So it, you have to. People can only do one page at a time. So you leave it on the kitchen table 

Nathan Sutherland: like spread, like you’ll do the left and right pages,

Anna Sutherland: yes, and then 

Nathan Sutherland: just turn it. 

Anna Sutherland: You have to stop and you have to wait for somebody else in the family to come do the next page.

And it makes it a little bit more, it makes it last a little bit longer, and then it makes it like a fun family experience. So if you wanna are looking for like a family gift. Yeah. 

Nathan Sutherland: And my nerd heart is just bursting with the fact that this is something we do cuz ,

Anna Sutherland: Well I feel like it’s the age, like our kids are at a really good age for that.

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. 

Anna Sutherland: To be able to do that altogether. They’re still interested in it. We both like Legos.

Nathan Sutherland: Yeah. 

Anna Sutherland: And it’s, it’s a fun…

Nathan Sutherland: and it builds it,

Anna Sutherland: It’s like a puzzle. I guess it’s like a puzzle.

Nathan Sutherland: It’s like a puzzle but for a slower,

Anna Sutherland: better 

Nathan Sutherland: As it is a little, cuz it’s the three dimensional, it’s It for as slow as Legos can be, the anticipation of your next turn does ratchet up the enthusiasm a little bit. [00:32:00] So like, because they can’t just do as much as they want, like it builds anticipation. So those are our 10 ideas. For what,

Anna Sutherland: As narrow or broad as you want them to be. , 

Nathan Sutherland: My mine were specific enough, Anna. I had anecdotes, I tied to them.

But really when we’re talking about gifts, we’re trying to give good gifts here. We’re being loving to our kiddos and doing this and we’re being intentional in the gifts we give, that they support, really who and what we want our children to become. We wanna make sure that we are thoughtfully and perfectly doing that.

So I hope this was helpful for you. I hope that you come away with this hearing both how you can think about gift giving, but with a reminder is we look towards Christmas of the purpose of gift giving in the first place. That it’s really about driving our kids back to this idea of the best gift that was given to us in Christ coming as a baby and the victory he’s won us in the Holy Spirit. We still have access to God is not dead, he is not sleeping. He is alive and active and working, and that we get to be an active part of his kingdom coming as we do [00:33:00] the work he’s called us to do, and do it by the power of his Holy Spirit. So hope this is encouraging to you.

If it was, would you consider sharing it with someone both so they can be prepared for their Christmas shopping that’s coming up here, but also they can be a part of this conversation about loving God using tech and raising kiddos who do the same. Would you consider sharing us on social media and would you join us next week as we continue this conversation about how we can love God, and use tech.

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