The Holiday Season is upon us, and with it, the trauma of gift-giving.
What do you buy for a loved one at Christmastime, especially when you have no idea what he or she wants? Not surprisingly, no one gift works for everyone. That said, the receiver's interests should only be a small part of the equation that helps you decide on a gift for your special someone; their love language says much more.
The Five Love Languages, written by Dr. Gary Chapman in 1995, explores the different ways in which people express their love and most acutely feel love from others. These languages include Acts of Service, Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Receiving Gifts, and Physical Touch. Here are a few gift ideas that might appeal to your loved one based on their love language.
If you want to know what your own love language is, take the 5 Love Languages Quiz here for free!
Photo by rawpixel
This one sounds like it might be the most obvious, but it's not as simple as it sounds, nor as shallow as one might think. Most people love getting a present from time to time, but for those whose love language is "receiving gifts" really appreciate the thought behind the gift more than the present itself. If this is your loved one's language, be sure to listen when they say they need to purchase something and take note when you see them pining for a particular item. Pick out a sweater in a color that really brings out the green in their eyes, or that kitchen set they've been dropping hints about. When they know you've put in the effort to pick out something they really like, they'll appreciate it more than the item itself.
Photo by Sergei Solo
For some people, it doesn't matter so much what they're doing, but rather who they're doing it with. The greatest gift you could get for someone whose love language is "quality time" is clearing your schedule to spend time with them. During the holidays, this could be a great opportunity to take your loved one on a mini-adventure, spend the day doing things they love, or try out new activities together. Consider taking a cooking class for two, or heading out of town for a snowy weekend in a remote cabin.
Photo by rawpixel
Acts of Service
This love language can get a bad rap as the least romantic-sounding of the five, but for someone who speaks this love language, "acts of service" speak louder than words (or gifts). If your partner feels overwhelmed and too busy to get everyday tasks like vacuuming or grocery shopping done, they might appreciate a subscription to a house-cleaning service or weekly meal prep kits, or maybe a gift card for a personal styling app. They might even appreciate a homemade voucher for "one week of dishwashing" or "a free round of grocery shopping."
Photo by Giorgio Encinas
Despite the name of this love language, those whose love language is "physical touch" aren't necessarily just looking for a fun, sexy time with their partner. These are people who feel and communicate love through many physical means, such as bear hugs, hand-holding, even playing with their partner's hair. Instead of a gift wrapped with a bow, consider setting up a romantic evening complete with a sensual massage. Pick up some scented candles or a bottle of massage oil in their favorite scent.
Photo by Freddy Castro
Words of Affirmation
If your partner's language is "words of affirmation," then Christmas is the perfect time for you to get creative. For your loved one, your choice of words means more than it might to others, so now's the time to tell them how much they mean to you. Consider writing a poem for a parent, an original song, or a memorable Christmas card to let your friend know you're thinking of them; these gestures will fill your loved ones' hearts to the brim, and they will have your words to reread and reflect on for years to come.