The holiday season sparks a time of gift giving. There is an art to being able to know which gift will truly be appreciated by the person on the receiving end. For a long time I felt like I was giving and giving and baffled by how i felt like it was never enough. Now I know I was giving too much in the wrong way.
Everyone has their own way of giving and receiving love and if you do not cater to someone’s own love language then your own giving will begin to drain you. I think the main tricks towards successful gift giving is identifying and catering to a person’s love language.
There are 5 main love languages “Acts of Service, Gift Giving, Quality Time, Physical Touch, and Words of Affirmation”.
Here are my ideas for how to make a person with any love language feel special. But keep in mind that many people have a combination of love languages so it’s important to make sure you change up the way you are showing people love so they continue to be open to receiving it.
For “Acts of Service” lovers, the key is doing and giving things that are helpful, like knocking off something on their to do list or getting them something they really need. One idea that does not cost anything is offering to help around the house or even better knock out the chores before the person gets home. Or if you have some extra money paying for a lawn service or dog walking service. I think the key is thinking of anticipatory needs and meeting them to give the person relief that things are taken care of.
For “Physical Touch” lovers, this one is hard to fulfill unless you see the person semi-frequently. But if you have a friend with this love language a great idea is to start implementing the habit of hugging when you see them and hugging when they leave. That way you are giving them the physical reassurance they need without it being weird or awkward. Or if you have money and touch issues you can someone else to do it by paying for a massage!
For “Gifts” lovers, if you are not careful this can get expensive very quickly. The key here is to keep it small and simple. No need to buy a bouquet of flowers everyday but instead maybe a coffee here and there, a candle or face mask. Little things can make the world of difference, and many gifts can be really inexpensive as long as you know where to look. For example, I only buy candles at the Marshalls by my house because I know they have the largest candles for the best price. You can even thrift or DIY some gifts to make it truly affordable and special!
For “Words of Affirmation” lovers, the key is to vocalize appreciation. You can write letters, you can send a quick appreciation text or you can show public support for things they’ve done or are passionate about. If you have a hard time coming up with how to start an affirmation you can start with “Thank you…”, you can thank them for things they’ve done for you, qualities you admire, or just who they are and what they do that makes them so awesome!
For “Quality Time” lovers, I think this takes the most planning. For many of us life is too busy and hectic to impromptu spend quality time with the people who need it. This is where planning can really help. Some ideas you can do is set aside time each month to reach out and plan an activity to do together (whether it’s trying a new restaurant, or see a new movie), you could even have one day a month where you plan either a coffee date, book club, or happy hour to make sure you at least you have one day a month to have some quality time (although ideally it would be much more frequently).
Hopefully this helps clarify and inspire some intentional gift giving this season!
If you’d like to learn more about the 5 love languages, I highly recommend this book on Amazon you can read from the link below!