Gift-Giving for the Five Love Languages
by Madison Sorrentino
The holiday season is upon us and if you’re like me, you’re probably busy trying to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones. This season puts a huge focus on the giving and receiving of material gifts—which can be a wonderful thing! Even more wonderful is that there’s an enormous opportunity during this season to show the people you love how much they mean to you by considering their love language before you give them a gift.
Not all of us feel most loved from receiving physical gifts! In fact, receiving gifts is just one of the five commonly recognized love languages. There are some people who really feel loved when they receive gifts any time of year. If you can imagine your friend saying, “Look at this amazing candle my mom bought for me! I can tell she was really thinking of me,” then you know your friend feels loved from receiving gifts and it’s safe to stick with a traditional gift idea.
For the others on your list, here are some gift ideas for the other four love languages.
1. Words of Affirmation
People who feel loved from words of affirmation are usually the people giving them out. If your friend or relative is often the person leaving loving notes, sending thoughtful texts or giving you a pep talk when you feel down about yourself, you know this person probably feels loved from receiving encouraging words too!
For this kind of person, consider writing them a thoughtful love letter (doesn’t have to be romantic!) reflecting on how much they mean to you, or what you admire about them. Decorate it and stick it in a lovely frame.
Or, consider making them a love jar. Write things you love about them on little strips of paper. Crumple them up and put them in a mason jar. Whenever they’re feeling a little down, they can reach into the jar and pull out a little message from you, reminding them of why they’re great.
2. Physical Touch
Unless you’re in an intimate relationship with someone it can be hard to know if they feel most loved from physical touch. If they’re “huggers” or describe loving to cuddle when they’re in a relationship, it’s safe to assume they feel loved from physical touch.
For this kind of person a gift certificate to get a massage is a great idea. Or consider getting them a heated foot bath or a weighted blanket to bring some physical element to their gift.
3. Acts of Service
Some people feel most loved when others perform acts of service for them. If someone shows they care about you by buying practical gifts or by offering to run errands for you, you know they feel and show love through acts of service.
For these people in your life, consider making them a packet of vouchers to request your help. Whether it’s helping clean their house, babysitting their kids, running errands or cooking them a nice meal, this gift shows that you’ll be there for them and ready to help with acts of service. Bonus--acts of service gifts tend to be eco-friendly, so you’re giving a gift to the planet, too!
If there’s an item that would greatly improve the ease of their daily life you can consider buying that. This is the type of person who would see a pragmatic gift as very thoughtful.
4. Quality Time
You know someone communicates love through quality time when they put a big emphasis on putting their phone away when at the dinner table, is a great listener, or is often trying to find fun and meaningful activities to do with you. For these individuals, spending time together in a thoughtful way is the best gift you can give.
Consider signing up for a workshop together based off a passion of theirs. If they like cooking, take a cooking workshop together. Or if they love yoga, buy certificates to take them to a Drunk Yoga class! If you want to make it extra cute, you can call it a “date in a box” and fill the box with little items giving them clues about what you’ll be doing together.
You can also plan quality time together by purchasing tickets to see a show with them or make a reservation at their favorite restaurant. In whatever way you chose to give a gift of quality time, make sure the certificate for the activity is already purchased and try to secure a date and time. That way they’ll know you’ve already carved time out of your schedule to dedicate to them.
Finding the right gift for someone is one of the most joyful parts of the holiday season and considering the recipients love language will really take that to the next level. Now go spread the love!