Giving the Gift that Truly Matters

Couples who want better relationships often think finding the perfect Christmas gift will help. Sometimes it can. Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages offers insights on intentionally expressing love in the language most meaningful to the receiver. When we offer gifts to match the other’s love language, we build connections that go deep.

However, a focus on gifts can backfire. When love languages are missed, the best-intentions are met with tepid interest. When love languages are manipulated, protective walls spring up and gifts are rejected while relationships crumble.

If gift giving has a prayer of building relationships, the giver must authentically seek to minister to the other person in the ways that matter most. We offer these suggestions for gifts and life habits to help you speak the love language of the recipient.

 

When the other person’s love language is :

Time

This person craves one-on-one time together. They feel loved as we share moments with them.

Gift ideas a weekend trip away; a coupon book for dates, a prepaid babysitter so the recipient can spend time with friends.

Ways to keep giving all year long–

Do

  • Set specific times to be together
  • Fully focus on the other person when together
  • Engage in conversation, both listening and contributing.

Don’t

  • Skip over scheduled dates–especially to be with others
  • Give in to distractions or split attention–i.e. watching television, taking a phone call, or glancing at others
  • Offer tepid responses or refuse to engage–these signal rejection

Physical Touch

This person craves physical closeness. Not just sex, but physical contact.

Gift ideas a coupon for massage by you, a night at Sybaris, the Discovery Game for Married Couple–designed to build intimacy.

Ways to keep giving all year long–

Do

  • Routinely hug, scratch their back, even tickle.
  • Create romantic moments and try new ways to engage
  • Sit close on the couch or hold hands when walking

Don’t

  • Stiffen or pull away. You may be tired, but this signals rejection. (Instead gently express when tired or feeling distant.)
  • Use physical intimacy as a reward or denial as a punishment.

Words of Affirmation

This person responds to praise and verbal recognition of their efforts and identity.

Gift ideas a letter detailing what you appreciate, jewelry with special words inscribed, a personalized calendar with affirmations for each month

Ways to keep giving all year long–

Do

  • Write notes or cards noting what you appreciate
  • Say what you appreciate to them and to others
  • Frame both agreement and disagreement respectfully

Don’t

  • Disparage opinions or casually criticize
  • Make the other the butt of jokes–especially in public
  • Use praise to gain a personal agenda

Gifts

Tangible objects speak love to this person. It’s not about expense but about someone offering a physical object to represent connection.

Gift ideas charms representing an event, a picture of you together, their favorite tea or book.

Ways to keep giving all year long–

Do

  • Choose objects that connect to their identity
  • Focus on objects that represent the connection between you
  • Receive their gifts

Don’t

  • Thoughtlessly grab a random gift–this is worse than giving nothing
  • Carelessly wrap or throw your gift on a table
  • Toss out their old cards or random items–for a gifts person, these are connections

Acts of Service

This person feels loved when others actively serve them by completing tasks and easing loads.

Gift ideas coupons for chores you will do, a day of maid service for the house, a gift certificate for someone doing jobs they despise.

Ways to keep giving all year long–

Do

  • Seek opportunities to minister to the other person in tangible ways:
  • Fill gas tanks, pick up dry cleaning, review speeches
  • Determine the tasks that overwhelm and perform them

Don’t

  • Forget to follow through on a commitment
  • Frequently leave the other person to work alone
  • Use help with tasks as a leverage to make the other feel inferior

We hope these suggestions help you choose a perfect gift for those you love now–and create family habits that keep giving the rest of the year. If you would like more resources on building healthy family relationships, please call 317-344-9740 or email tess@TheResolutionCenterIndy.com. We look forward to serving you.

Take Action. Begin Today.

Though we come from a variety of experiences and backgrounds, the team at The Resolution Center shares one common goal: to bring healing and hope to those going through turmoil. ‘We know conflict wreaks havoc and wrecks dreams. Each of us brings specialized skills and a proven process to move people through the conflict to a place of stability, peace, and the possibility for their future.