THE THOUGHT DOES MATTER
BEST GIFTS ARE THOSE WHERE GIVERS TAKES TIME TO CONSIDER RECIPIENTS
All I want for Christmas is youuuuuuuuuu,” crooned no person ever who’s love language is “gifts”. Love languages are the ways we communicate love – that is, how we show love to other people and how we feel it from others. According to author Gary Chapman, there are five all up, and everyone uses different ones in different combinations. When people with different love languages fall in love, they can often run into trouble. In my recent two articles I covered the first two love languages: words of affirmation; and acts of service. Today, I’m talking about what may be one of the pricklier languages of the lot: gifts. You think kids enjoy Christmas day the most? Ha! A person with a “gifts” love language is experiencing levels of bliss and joy those small children with their cherubic faces and unspoiled optimism can only dream about. From someone who falls into this category, I can’t tell you how over the moon I was when my husband bought me a pair of $12 rubber boots for the recent Midnight Oil concert. Little did I know how incredibly useful they were about to become in the torrential monsoon. When it comes to the gifts love language, it’s really, really important to try to get away from the mindset that the person is materialistic. Some people absolutely are materialistic, don’t get me wrong. For the gift person, it’s more the time, thought, and effort that goes into the gift that truly expresses the love than the thing itself. A small, thoughtful gift – say something as simple as a pair of rubber boots or replacing the tea pot you broke recently (I hope he’s reading), is a grander expression of love to them than an expensive bracelet they have no want or need for. (OK, I lie, I wouldn’t refuse that either.) A non-gift person might feel the pressure of the bigger, the better whereas the gift person just wants to feel that you really understand them and thought of them that day. If you feel helpless to have found yourself locked in with a partner with a gifts love language, simply start with the thought, the love and the understanding, not the price tag. Knowing that it’s the thought that truly does count, and not some tired cliché, will go a long way to establishing a healthy relationship with your gifts love language spouse. If you’ve previously bought into the misconception that gifts prove your love to this person, why don’t you combine it with a love language you understand better? If you know your partner is stressed, mix it with the ‘touch’ or ‘quality time’ love language such as something massage-related. Cards attached to presents allow you to use words of affirmation. Alternatively, profess your heart-felt love with some romantic prose when you hand over the present. How about two tickets to the cricket for you and your sporty lover? A box of their favourite popcorn would even do it for some people. Non-gift love language people can struggle with the thought they must buy presents all the time. This isn’t true. Simply surprise and delight at random unexpected times or when they might need a lift the most. As a heads-up, please, please whatever you do – remember birthdays and anniversaries. Your gift love language spouse is likely buying you presents to express their love. Think back over the last year at how many gifts you’ve received from them. You’ll notice they’re things you’ve valued, wanted, or needed. If you’re not a gift person, you’re probably taking those presents for granted and don’t register as signs of affection. You might even think they’re trying to placate you with gifts to avoid showing affection? I suspect every one of those gifts you’ve received was their way of saying “I love you, I listen to you, I know who you are, and I know what you need.” So, ignore Mariah Carey and her misleading lyrics that some people don’t want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing they need, they don’t care about the presents, underneath the Christmas tree. Yes, they probably want you for their own… accompanied by your incredibly thoughtful gift behind their back. It’s early November, so you have plenty of time to lovingly trawl the shops or internet for that special something and have it by Christmas. No, you can’t hire a buyer’s agent for this one but feel free to secretly research with their friends or family. Still at a loss? Ask them what they like. Watch this space next week to spend a moment with me reading about the love language of quality time.