Instead of entering the mall in a rushed panic this holiday season, why not consider a calmer, more thoughtful approach to gift-giving. Personally, I find inspiration in The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. According to Chapman, we all have a primary and secondary love language – languages that feed our relationships with others.
By referencing these Five Languages, we and our loved ones can experience a far more fulfilling and enriching giving experience. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
Words of Affirmation – Express your feelings with a handwritten note that contains genuinely positive and loving sentiment. Go out of your way to extend compliments.
Quality Time – Plain and simple, spend time together. Off your phone. This is my primary core language. I especially love spending a day with husband Christmas shopping for our children.
Physical Touch – Go a little long with the hug. Give your child a loving pat on the head. Cozy up on the couch with your partner.
Acts of Service – Be helpful to others. Extend favours. Take away someone’s burden, if only for a day. Remember that actions speak louder than words.
Receiving Gifts – Not to be mistaken for shallow materialism, Chapman says thoughtful gifts are “visual representations of love” and are to be “treasured greatly.” So, challenge yourself to go beyond the perfunctory and instead put your heart into your giving. Be sentimental. Give a piece of jewellery that belonged to your grandmother. Or treat your partner to dinner at the restaurant where you first met. Your thoughtfulness won’t go unnoticed.
By undertaking this reflective exercise, you might find a nice fringe benefit alongside all of the positive effects on your relationships with others…
You may actually save a bit of money this holiday season.