What’s On Your List?

With 15.7 million people unemployed in America, let’s rethink our gift giving this year. What if this year instead of going into debt, scouring the department stores for the perfect item, pushing people over to get through the doors for the sale, we stopped for a minute to recognize the true needs of others.

We could take the focus off of the list of items to focus on the people on our list. Not reaching into our pocket but reaching into our heart for the perfect gift.

What would this gift look like?

According to Gary Chapman in his book, The Five Love Languages, people feel loved according to acts of service, quality time, words of affirmation, physical touch, and gifts. By the way, the person who feels loved by gifts feels most loved by the thought, not necessarily the most expensive and perfect gift.

As a society we have placed so much emphasis on the gift instead of the giving. What if we took the time to understand someone’s love language and told them this year, “I want to give you the gift of love by loving you according to your language.”

The true gift of love is sacrifice. Most often the sacrifice of a few dollars will never leave a lasting impression, but the gift of sacrificing to love someone in the way they feel loved will speak volumes, especially when we normally do not feel comfortable loving that way. Can you imagine if you discovered that your daughter’s love language is quality time and you said to her I want to take you to lunch every other weekend? How would that impact her life and yours? My husband did this with both our daughters. By making the sacrifice of time the dynamics of their relationships changed and all have been blessed.

On any given night my son Cameron slides close to me on the couch, with puppy eyes he asks, “will you rub my back?” I decided to experiment on my thirteen year old son with the idea of giving the gift of his love language for Christmas. I knew he wanted a cell phone, since all his friends have one, but his love language is physical touch.
“Honey,” I pleaded, “what if we can’t afford a phone, can I rub your feet instead?”

He looked up at me shaking his head, “No Mom, I really need a phone.” Okay, maybe my high hopes of changing the focus from a monetary gift to give the gift of love won’t work on my son. He’s desperate to have the latest technology and communicate with his friends who all have a phone.

Discovering our love languages as a family has enabled us to love each other better throughout the year and save us money. In fact, my love language is words of affirmation, the first clue that my love language was not receiving gifts was that I usually took back the gift or at least wanted to. When I communicated to my husband that gifts were unimportant to me he was thrilled to save loads of time and stress searching for the perfect item.

When it comes right down to the perfect gift for me is for my husband to tell me he adores me and that I’m the best wife and mother of anyone he knows. I would rather have the gift of his love than any monetary item.

Normally the easy gift to give is one of monetary value. Today reevaluate who’s on your list, take the time to discover how you can love them, and make the sacrifice to step outside your comfort zone to love according to their love language. The retailers may not be happy with their sales figures, but we can create family unity and joy with the gift of our love.

A lasting gift.

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