Tuesday, December 16, 2014

When Gift-Giving is Not Your Love Language

Have you heard about the 5 Love Languages from Gary Chapman.  You probably have, right?  The idea is that different people have different love languages...different ways they give and receive love. 

The 5 Love Languages are: 
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time 
  • Receiving Gifts 
  • Physical Touch  
  • Acts of Service  
You can take a quiz that tells you what your love language is...and it's probably not too hard to guess the love language of your loved ones.

Well, I score ZERO on the receiving gifts parts.  ZERO. My love languages are quality time and acts of service.  Gifts...not even close. 

Which makes this time of year especially challenging. It's funny...because I keep reading all these articles and blog posts about how to have a minimalist Christmas and how not to overdo it on presents, and I'm all, no problemo..I got this. 

There is NO danger of me overdoing it on gifts.  None, nada, zilch.  Well, besides the fact that we can't afford anything,  I don't enjoy giving gifts and I don't enjoy receiving gifts (unless it's something I specifically want/need/pick out and can't afford..and then I appreciate it, a lot). I don't like surprise gifts though. 

If it was up to me, I would just as soon skip the whole gift thing...birthdays, holidays...just skip it.   

But, it's not up to me.  

So, here are a few tips I've learned to make gift giving and gift receiving a bit easier and less stressful.

1) First of all, if you are having trouble deciding what to give someone here's a secret.  Most people enjoying receiving the types of gifts they give.   So, if someone oftentimes gives gift cards or books or food gifts...those are probably the types of gifts they would enjoy receiving. 

Just a little secret for any fellow gift-hating grinches.  

2)It's okay to procrastinate.  Really it is.  Sometimes we have the best ideas under pressure.  Or sometimes being under pressure can take the stress off...because you just gotta pick something.  So you do.  And, it's fine.  

3)And, if you have a gift-hating person in your life...consider acts of service or quality time. Offer to do something for them or spend time with them.  Most people like that...and bonus..you get to brag about how non-materialistic and minimalist you are.   Plus you can really never go wrong with gift cards or cash.   

4)If you receive an awful gift...an ugly sweater or an electronic robo-guard dog..well consider it a chance to practice charity and love...and re-gifting.

5) When it comes to kids...stick with what you know they like. You can't really go wrong if you get art suppplies for the art-loving kid or legos for the lego-loving crowd. 

6) Keep in mind the real reason we give gifts...to remember the great gift that Christ gave us.  Somehow that makes it a bit easier.  Since Christ already gave the ultimate gift, nothing we will ever give will ever compare so no need to worry about it.  And it gives a bit more purpose to the gift-giving thing.

Whether you love gifts or hate them, I hope you have a happy and stress-free rest of Advent!

Do you like gifts? Have you taken the love languages quiz?  What's your love language? Do you enjoy holiday gift giving or do you find it stressful? Inquiring minds and all that. 
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  1. Oh Amelia, I am the same way. I do not like shopping or spending money or clutter and this time of year is very hard for me! I would be perfectly content to not give or get a single gift - but like you said, it's not about us. All of my kids' birthdays are within a month of Christmas too, so it is just a toy palooza over here this time of year. Anyway, I'm glad I'm not alone.

  2. Giving gifts IS my love language alongside Quality Time and Acts of Service right behind. Opposite of my husband, I loved this post because it gave me a little of a peek into how hard it is for him to gift me, but how lovingly he tries all the same.

  3. I,too, find gift giving to be a chore. Now I'm off to take the quiz!

  4. I love talking about the love languages (mine is quality time). I do enjoy buying things for people, but both our families have high expectations over the holidays. Since "generous" gifts are not really in the budget, I try to homemake as much as I can. I have also found that you can get away with fewer gifts when they're homemade (ex: one pair of socks? Lame! One pair of wool hand-crocheted socks? Winner! Sorry, I know you don't craft, but it's my survival mechanism).

    Anyway, one of my sisters-in-law is a *huge* fan of giving and receiving gifts - and I'm pretty sure she puts as much money into wrapping the gift as buying the gifts. And this year? I seriously looked up on Pinterest how to dress up newspaper-wrapped gifts. I mean, it just gets thrown away anyway! Why waste precious gift money on expensive wrapping paper?! That's it - I'm totally doing another blog series on inexpensive Christmas gifts : )

  5. Gifts are not my love language, which makes Christmas pretty stressful for me because a lot of my family's love language is gifts.

  6. I took the love language quiz a while ago. I had two love languages that tied, words of affirmation and physical touch. My husband's love language is without a doubt acts of service, closely followed by quality time.

    I have more than a few thoughts about gifts. I was in the process of leaving a super long response, but decided just to make it a blog post. Ha! You can expect it to be up at my blog later this afternoon! :)

  7. Good advice. I think I'm somewhere in between. I like making gifts and giving to those closest, but I hate trying to stretch my budget to buy something I consider unnecessary (like a gift for my in-laws who never appreciate the effort). A few years ago we started giving up our twelve days of Christmas for people. We focus on specific people for one day and pray only for their intentions. It is very rewarding and there is no stress involved (except narrowing your list to twelve).

    1. I love that idea of praying for someone different each of the 12 days! What an awesome gift to that person.

  8. So good! I hate giving gifts...it's so not my love language. Like the very bottom of them all. I'm so glad I'm not the only one :-)

  9. so if my number one is physical touch at 12 and my husbands phycical touch is ZERO....yes I wrote that right .... my husband's need for physical touch is a ZERO...(yes I'm wheeping not being sarcastic)- Now that I know touch means nothing to him, How will I ever feel in our marriage he is being sincerely attracted to me? When he scored a ZERO on needing touch? Oh I'm really concerned....

    1. I'm sorry you are dealing with that. A good marriage is about give and take and showing your spouse love in their love language, even if it is not yours. So, your husband could maybe make the effort to show you physical touch, even if that isn't his love langauge and you would show him love in whatever his love language happens to be. Just the fact the someone is trying shows love.


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