I am one of those people who feel Christmas is more for the kiddies – this doesn’t mean I don’t do any shopping for my friends and family. It just means that they are most likely going to get a gift card because I don’t want to have to figure out what to get them. But that is me, being lazy and inconsiderate. I am doing my best this year to shake this habit…I will keep you updated throughout the season on how this is going.
While it may not seem like a very personalized gift, I feel we all hit an age where we realize it isn’t about “us” anymore. Also, many of us can’t be bothered with going out and trying to shop during black Friday and trying to beat the crowds. And with online shopping available now, why would you want to? I remember doing some Christmas shopping in Las Vegas, and the crowds were horrendous. I drove around a mall parking lot for 20 minutes before I found a parking spot, and as I put on my blinker and waited for the other car to back out, this little old lady with purple hair drove into it. I was so baffled that I had to sit there a minute in order to process what happened – she must have known because she turned around and flipped me the bird. On one hand, I was very offended, and on the other I couldn’t wait to be old so I could do whatever I wanted – who is going to yell at a little old lady with purple hair? In order to save myself from being harassed by cantankerous old crones, I’d rather do my shopping online.
It’s all too easy nowadays – if we have Amazon prime there is no need to go out to the Battlefield mall or department stores to hunt for gifts. We can do it from the comfort of our own homes, at two in the morning in our jammies if we want.
For those of you who do want to add a personalized touch to your gifts, it will require you really know someone well. This is where I feel knowing the Five (5) Love Languages come in handy – it’s a book you can pick up at Barnes & Noble or have delivered to your house on Amazon. I am sure there is even a downloadable copy on Kindle somewhere.
Basically, knowing which love-language describes the person in question’s style helps you pick out the perfect gifts for them. Keep in mind that many people have more than one love language. The last time I took this test I ended up having three love languages tied! That makes me someone easy to shop for, but for those difficult to get gifts for, perhaps this will help you pick out something truly unique for them.
The 5 Love Languages
Without going too deep into this topic, most people show love in the way they want to receive it. And if you know your moms, sisters or significant others love language, it can make gift-buying this holiday season a WHOLE LOT EASIER.
- Personal Touch
If the person you are buying a gift for is someone who is a hugger, or who shows affection through touch (such as holding hands, gives massages, etc), then an ideal gift for them may be a massage, facial or something along these lines. You can spot someone whose love language is personal touch from a mile away – they are always touching or caressing those nearest and dearest to them.
An awesome gift idea for someone of this love language would be to take a dance class together or do a gift basket of lotions and massage oils.
- Acts of Service
If the person is someone who is always quick to do things for you, such as make you dinner, help around the house, or do little “favors” for you such as fixing your mom’s computer because it suddenly had the black screen of death, this person may be more inclined to an act of service. Some great gift ideas for this person may include making them dinner, giving them a day off from housework, or doing something nice for them in general, like detailing their car.
Some gift ideas would be to hire a maid service, buy a coffee machine, one of those automatic vacuum cleaners that roam around on the floor, a security system or anything that solves a problem / challenge they are currently facing.
The person who gives a lot of gifts tends to like to receive them also. This is where it can cost a little bit of money if you don’t keep your finances in check. Receiving a new purse, gift certificates, a mini shopping spree or some other form of gift is how this person feels most loved. As long as you make sure it is something they want or like, it’s hard to screw up this love language.
A gift doesn’t necessarily have to be something expensive – it could be as simple as picking up their favorite cookies on the way home from the store, or picking some flowers from the neighbor’s garden (I wrote that in jest – please don’t pick your neighbor’s flowers unless you already asked permission from them).
- Words of Affirmation
If someone is always encouraging you or telling you how wonderful you are, chances are their love language is words of affirmation. These people loved to be encouraged, told they are wonderful and feel validated when people acknowledge them. A great gift idea would be to acknowledge them daily and to boast about them when other people are around. What’s wrong with stroking a bit of ego anyways?
Some awesome gifts for a person whose love language is words of affirmation are a karaoke machine for their house, a new phone, a wireless headset or any other auditory gift.
- Quality Time
A person whose love language is quality time is someone who feels most love when people spend time with them. The best part is you don’t even have to spend that much money (unless you want to take them on a holiday somewhere, just the two of you). These people are perfectly content snuggling on the couch while watching a movie, or going out and doing something fun like ice skating, going to dinner, or going for a walk in the park.
Some gift ideas for this sort of person is anything experiential such as a nice dinner out, movie tickets, a ride on the trolley bike in downtown Springfield, or frequenting a museum or a first Friday Art Walk.
Keep in mind that not everyone is going to be limited to one love language. When I first moved back to Springfield, I noticed I sort of bumped heads with my mom. It was strange because I hadn’t seen her in almost eight (8) years, aside from the occasional Skype calls. As I spent more time with her I could see that her love languages were more experiential. She was a quality time kind of gal, who enjoys gift-giving and receiving. I noticed that when I take her out to lunch, just the two of us, she would light up. This is good for me to know! I believe one of her Christmas pressies this year will be a gift certificate to a local sushi joint, and maybe a gift card on amazon as well (secretly hoping she isn’t reading this now).
In short, it is easy to fall into buying gift cards, but it takes something special to put some thought and time into getting a personalized gift. Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season!