I’m sure the organised lot of you have already finished Christmas shopping. But often there’re one or two presents you’ve put off getting – and now Christmas is sneaking up. Usually its because we just don’t know what to get these people. Like what about your friend who “has everything”? Or your family member who “doesn’t want anything”?
So here is my last minute Christmas shopping hint for the difficult to buy for: work out what their love language is.
What’s a love language?
He expresses the idea that people give and receive love in 5 primary ways and that the dominant language for each person might be different. The best way to make a particular person feel loved (and after all that’s what Christmas gifts are about, right?) is to understand what that persons particular love language is and to communicate love in that love language. This may be difficult if our own love language is different to that of the person we’re wishing to give to.
So to help you out here is a summary of the love languages, how to recognise them, and how to shop for those in each:
1. Quality time
What it is: This person wants to spend time with you. And not just any time – time where you can connect, whether through conversation or doing something together.
Recognise: You’ll recognise this person by the way they make time for you. Do they ask you to meet them for coffee or dinner to catch up? Do they prefer to spend time alone with you rather then in a big group? Do they join you in activities you enjoy or ask you to join them? (e.g. gym buddies, running buddies, ask you to join them in pottery class, etc.)
Perfect Gift: Why not get them a voucher for dinner with you or to do an activity (this can be as simple as homemade, or as extravagant as go-karting – especially if go-karting isn’t your thing!). If it isn’t someone you’re particular close to, maybe you can give them a voucher to use with their spouse whilst you offer to babysit.
2. Words of Affirmation:
What it is: This love language is basically about hearing and receiving verbal compliments and affirmation. Spoken or written.
Recognise: You’ll recognise this person by the way they compliment you. How they express in words things they may be thinking about you. When they go out of their way to verbally affirm your actions or choices. (e.g. sending you a text message after a birthday party you organised saying what an amazing job you did.)
Perfect gift: To shop for this person, think about how you can verbally express what you think about this person. You can either choose a gift that compliments a skill you admire in them and then note it in the card. (e.g. you buy a do it yourself book for someone who is good with their hands around the house, and write a card which affirms their ability – “I was so impressed with the job you did painting the house – hope you enjoy many more projects with the help of this book!”) Or you can make them a present purely about affirmation – a home made photo album with messages, a journal of thoughts about that person, a box of 365 affirmations for that person to read one per day for the whole year (wonderful gift for a spouse and great exercise for you to appreciate them!).
What it is: This person loves to give and receive gifts, whether they be big material things, or small things that you’ve made. The key to gift giving for this person is that the gift has thought behind it.
Recognise: You’ll recognise this person by the gifts they give you and others. Do they always bring you a birthday present even when you have no party or no one else brings a gift? Do they bring back gifts from trips they go on? Do they give you something for no reason other than they saw it in a shop and thought you’d love it?
Perfect gift: This person will appreciate a homemade gift because of the effort involved in making it for them. But they’ll also appreciate a carefully chosen gift that shows you know something about them.
4. Physical Touch
What it is: These people feel most loved when they receive physical touch.
Recognise: You’ll know these people because they are the ones that give you the biggest hugs. If they’re your spouse, you’ll recognise they need to hold hands, touch you as they walk past you, or give kisses and hugs that seem to come out of no where.
Perfect gift: They will appreciate anything that shows you thought about them as long as it comes with a hug. If it’s for your spouse, you might want to give them a voucher for some alone time together, and arrange a baby sitter.
5. Acts of service
What it is: This person feels most loved when people do things for them.
Recognise: You’ll recognise this person by the acts of service they perform for others. Are they always cleaning, ironing, making lunches for their family? Do they volunteer to help you move? When you’re sick or unable to keep up with chores do they come over and do some housework or offer to run your errands? Are they always fixing things around the house for you?
Perfect gift: They will appreciate acts of service in return. Offer them a homemade voucher for something they need or want done. Perhaps you can offer to clean their car, or run their errands. Or finish that sewing project you know they want done but never have the time to do. If you’re not sure what they need, just give them a blank voucher with the number hours you want to give them.
I hope that’s helped! And if you have friends who might need a hand finishing their Christmas shopping, maybe they’d be grateful for these hints too…
Stay tuned for my next post about gift giving, coming soon…!
Question: What’s your love language? Are there other hints that you’d give about making people feel loved this Christmas? What creative gift ideas have you come up with in the past? You can comment by clicking here – I’d love to hear from you!