Live, Love, Gifts
Gift ideas for this holiday season, according to the receiver’s love language.
Written by: Andrea Brazis
Your love language is determined by the results of a test by The 5 Love Languages. The five love languages are acts of service, gifts, physical touch, quality time and words of affirmation. Each love language represents your personal expression of love: the best way you show love to others and your favorite way to receive love back. Your top love language often most deeply resonates with you and is something you may actively seek in a relationship. However, each love language is undoubtedly essential in healthy relationships and friendships. This holiday season, my gift to you is a brief list of holiday gift ideas for your loved ones based on their love language. It’s important to keep in mind that you're giving something to someone whose love language may be different from yours, so buy what caters to them rather than what would cater to yourself.
Acts of service
Create a playlist
Creating a playlist for a friend or significant other is a meaningful way to show them that they’re on your mind. This playlist doesn’t have to consist of songs that they like or know, in fact, I’d encourage you not to include any songs they know. Make the playlist using songs you think the receiver would like, including songs you enjoy or ones that make you think of them. Personalize this as much as you can!
Gift a breakfast-in-bed tray
Breakfast-in-bed trays are perfect for individuals of all ages, especially college students (extra points if you cook them food and bring it to them on the tray!). These trays are an easy way to avoid too much of a mess in bed by having an alternative surface for food to be placed. They can also hold laptops or notebooks to allow for multitasking.
Invite someone to volunteer at a homeless shelter or a soup kitchen with you
If you want a selfless way to give back this year, why not do so in your community? Every county has someplace to volunteer at during the holiday season, especially as the demand for help goes up and availability goes down. A lot needs done and extra hands are never turned away; this is a wonderful way to bring joy to someone’s holiday season.
Participate in Samaritan’s Purse: Operation Christmas Child
If you’ve never heard of Operation Christmas Child, I highly encourage you to check out their website, Samaritan's Purse. Operation Christmas Child allows volunteers to pack and ship shoe boxes filled with gifts to children from ages 5 to 14 in developing countries. This is a heartwarming gift to complete solo or with a friend, and the joy that it brings is incredible.
Five senses basket
This is a creative way to include all five senses into your gift giving: taste, touch, smell, sight and sound. This allows the receiver to adopt heightened senses and enjoy a variety of gifts catering to said senses by purchasing gifts that tap into each sense individually. These don’t have to be super expensive either. They can be as simple as a candle or book to as extravagant as a diffuser or painted mural.
Gifting college gear is a wonderful option for college students, as many students would always love to have more! Gear can include clothing such as sweatshirts or t-shirts, as well as items like cups or lanyards.
Photo album or scrapbook
Photo albums and scrapbooks allow for a wide-range of creativity and individuality to shine through. Not only do these gifts celebrate your relationships or friendships, but they serve as a physical time capsule that the receiver will have forever.
Gifts cards are often considered an “easy” and unthoughtful gift. However, they can be a really great option, especially if the receiver has expressed interest in a specific food place or clothing store. This can also be a subscription to a popular TV streaming service such as HBO Max or a music streaming service such as Spotify Premium.
Book a massage
Massages offer a good opportunity to de-stress and relax after a long semester! This can be a gift for just the recipient or you can make it a duo experience and go together.
Gift a blanket
Blankets are simple, but universally loved by all. There’s a wide range of options as well, including but not limited to: sherpa, knitted, weighted and heated blankets. Blankets provide a sense of safety and can be very comforting to the user. Weighted blankets, specifically, have proved to be a hit for individuals of all ages.
Gift a self-care basket
Nothing says, “I love you” more than, “I love you and you should too!” Fill your self-care basket with face masks, body scrubs, loofahs, fuzzy socks and more to give the receiver a relaxing night in.
Go to Build-a-Bear
Disagree if you will, but Build-a-Bear is a fun gift and an opportunity to tap into your inner child. You could also make a Build-a-Bear to share with a long-distance friend or family member for when you aren’t able to see each other. It’s a good way to still feel connected to the people you love, despite the distance.
Bake Christmas cookies
Get a group of friends or family together and dig out some old cookie recipes! Baking is a fun (and slightly messy) activity that can be appreciated by groups of all sizes. Turn on some Michael Bublé, bust out the red and green sprinkles and you’re golden.
Gift a customized puzzle
Puzzles can be a time-consuming activity, but can also be very fun and satisfying once completed. You can customize a puzzle by using a favorite photo of you and the receiver or using a photo of something they particularly like, which can be a stimulating and meaningful experience for both the gifter and receiver.
Gift concert or theater tickets
Tickets to concerts or shows are a wonderful way to cater towards quality time, especially when it’s a group or production they’ve mentioned before or like already.
Plan a whole night dedicated to Christmas festivities
This can be a duo, family or friend group activity! Keep it casual and just enjoy spending time together. Try looking at Christmas lights, decorating the tree, watching a holiday movie or building a gingerbread house.
Words of affirmation
Gift a Cameo
What’s a better way for someone to know how special they are than to be told personally by their favorite celebrity?! Cameo is a cool way for your recipient to personally interact with someone they admire or find entertaining! This one’s a bit different in terms of words of affirmation, but having your loved one’s favorite celebrity talk to them is a unique and fun way of expressing your love.
Gift a personalized book
There’s a variety of “I wrote a book about you” books that serve as wonderful ways to verbally present love. These are a good alternative to letters, particularly if you’re not the best with words organically.
Gift personalized jewelry
Personalized jewelry such as a necklace, bracelet or ring is a great gift option for any person! These can be custom-engraved with names, anniversary dates, meaningful quotes and so much more. Being able to look at these words on a daily basis is a special thing for anyone.
This gift idea has personally been a big hit for myself as well as my friends! The gifter writes a certain amount of personalized letters (usually 5-10) with a time to open it written on each envelope:for example, “Open when you need encouragement,” or “open when you’re happy.” This might sound a little cheesy, but it’s a personal and special gift to receive because it represents a deeper relationship.