What is a love language?
Gary Chapman who wrote the book “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts” says that there are five primary ways that a person feels that they receive love in a relationship:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Receiving Gifts
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
If your primary love language is “receiving gifts,” you may believe that your friends and family must also value and want gifts to feel loved. Make sure you really understand what your loved ones really need, as you may focus your time and resources on buying gift after gift, when that may not be their primary love language. Don’t buy expensive jewelry that never gets worn when all the other person wants is appreciation, or get a puppy as a Christmas gift for the kids when all they want is more quality time with you.
When people feel that the price tag matters in buying a gift, this can lead to budget problems. One person in the relationship may feel that he or she has to keep impressing the other with gifts and will outdo the last gift given. This can lead to more expensive gifts that can break the budget, lead to debt, and add more stress in a relationship.
Usually, the person who needs to receive gifts doesn’t associate a price tag with it. He or she just wants to know that you were thinking about them. Or that your remembered them.
Gifts are visual symbols of love. – Gary Chapman
Knowing a person’s love language can make or break your gift budget this holiday. By understanding what makes a person on your list feel loved, you may be able to save a lot of money by only buying (or making) a gift that addresses that primary need.
Examples of Gifts to Give Based on the Other Person’s Primary Love language:
Words of Affirmation:
- Buy a card or nice journal and write down verbal compliments and words of appreciation for the things that the person does for you, family, etc.
- Cost: $1.00 – $10.00 for a store-bought card or journal.
- Record a video detailing all the positive things that you love about the person.
- Cost: Usually free if you already have a phone or tech gadget that can do video recording.
- Schedule a date to get together with one-on-one time for dinner, walk, coffee; host an intimate dinner party for close friends.
- Cost: Varies depending on activity and if childcare is required.
- Find a charity event or volunteer opportunity to do together, especially if there is a cause that is important to one of you.
- Cost: Usually free, but varies especially if childcare is required
- Buy a book on a subject that the person would appreciate or is interested in. Example: Cooking, Finances, Health, Sports, etc.
- Cost: Varies. Check out used book store for cheaper options.
- Picture(s) of you and the person at a special event or several occasions throughout the year. Example: Photo in frame, custom photo calendar.
- Cost: $5.00 – $25.00
Acts of Service:
- Create a home-made coupon book with services offered that the person could redeem. Examples could include: 3 hours of childcare services, folding laundry for 1 month, washing the dishes for 1 week, etc.
- Cost: Your Time + less than $10.00, depending on if you make or buy a personalized coupon book
- If the other person is the one who always cooks the family meals, take over one meal over the holidays and do everything from start-to-finish including prep, cook, and clean-up.
- Cost: Your Time + $10.00 – $30.00 depending on ingredient costs
- Create a home-made coupon book with services offered that the person could redeem that involves touch. Examples could include: 1 hour massage, 1 hour foot rub, 1 slow dance, etc.
- Cost: Your Time + less than $10.00, depending if you make or buy a personalized coupon book.
Going into the holiday season, here are recommended next steps:
- Create a list of everyone who you want to show appreciation for.
- Write down each person’s love language.
- Determine what you plan to buy or make for each person based on their love language.
- Create a budget and stick with it!
- If you are stressed, have budget issues, and need help to prep for the holidays, contact a financial coach.