I want to talk about gift-giving, and I want to frame it around the idea of love languages. Because if we are giving gifts to our loved ones, a really powerful way to express our love is to speak the language that they speak in the gift that we give.
This is a really amateur version of love languages. I’m no expert. In fact, I read the book many many years ago (by Gary Chapman). It just stuck with me, because I think it’s a really powerful way of understanding how people relate to each other.
There are five love languages that people use to express their love and because it is their love language, the way they feel most loved is when people express in the same language to them that they love them.
- There is quality time. Sometimes people just want time to spend with you and they will make time to spend with you when they speak that language.
- Acts of service. They’ll do things for you and also enjoy people to do things for them.
- Words of affirmation, like praise, telling with your words that you appreciate somebody. And then, those people like to hear that back.
- Gift -giving. That’s what our traditional Christmas and holidays are – the actual giving of a physical gift. That is some people’s love language which is wonderful.
- And then, physical touch where you are connecting with each other on a physical level, however that looks.
Those are the five love languages. You can imagine two people who love each other and one speaks acts of service so they are doing things while the other person speaks words of praise so they are being appreciative. It seems like it might work. But the person who speaks words of praise needs words of praise back and the person who does acts of service needs acts of service back. So, learning what the other person’s language is can help people really connect with each other.
How can we frame that for Christmas, because Christmas is just hitting one – the gift-giving love language. If we really want to show the people that we love so much that we love them, what if we stop and ask ourselves, “What is that person’s love language? What gift speaks to their love language?” So that when they get that gift, they really feel like you thought about them and you love them.
You can go through each of the people on your list and you can pick the gifts that will really be love messages. That is an important thing for us to get across, all the time but especially in this season, that we love people.
- So let’s say it’s acts of service. What is something that you can do for that person? What is something that you can give them that is a promise that you’ll do something?
- What about physical touch? What can you do to show them physical touch? Remember when we were kids and we didn’t have money so we’d write coupons… I promise you one foot massage. That’s not such a bad idea, is it? If somebody’s love language is physical touch and you offer to give them a massage, that really shows that you love them in the way that they speak love.
- Gifts. That might be a relatively easy one because we are accustomed to it.
- Quality time. Setting aside time for them.
- And words of praise. I’ve got somebody who speaks words of praise in my house and I know that writing a note that talks about all the ways that I appreciate that person goes a long way in making them feel loved in the language that they speak.
So I want to throw this idea out there, because you have some time to pick something that is really going to make someone feel the love behind your gift. It’s not that you just found something that you think they might like but that you actually thought about a powerful way to express your love to them.
Maybe that’s a cool route to go this year as you head out shopping… What will show the people that you love that you love them dearly.