Many of you may be familiar with Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, “The Five Love Languages”. In it, he explains that each of us has a different way of feeling loved. He outlines five love language categories and says that these hold true across all ages, genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds. I have a very special sixth love gift included here that is universally appreciated.
As we enter the season of celebration and gift giving, we can feel overwhelmed by the commercials and displays and unsure how to express our love for others in ways that are both affordable and authentic. For this week’s post, I decided to put together a list of some ideas for simple, affordable personalized gifts. This is just a starter list. The better you know the person to whom you’ll be giving the gift, the more easily you can understand their love language and the specific kind of gift that would bring the most joy.
Words of Affirmation
♥ Send a card with a handwritten note
♥ Write a poem
♥ Record a song or send a video or audio clip – something that would inspire, encourage, or uplift
♥ Plan a special outing together
♥ Schedule a meal or tea/coffee/wine time at a favorite venue
♥ Plan a walk or workout time (or whatever you two would like to do together)
*Pay for a babysitter or arrange for a ride if that’s necessary to make it happen. The activity should allow plenty of time for meaningful conversation – turn off the phones and visit!
♥ Draw or paint a picture
♥ Print a photo that you have taken or that you have permission to use
♥ Make a personalized DIY item. For example, I love to knit simple cotton dishcloths/washcloths to tuck in the corners of family present boxes or to give to friends and neighbors. (See the end of this post for a fragrant, all-season sugar scrub recipe)
♥ Bring a favorite takeout meal or a dinner that you have prepared (be sure to ask about allergies and preferences if you don’t know them – you can create a pretty IOU)
♥ Bake a favorite food item – BONUS: it can make you feel better as well as giving joy to the receiver (https://www.goodnet.org/articles/5-reasons-baking-good-for-mental-health)
♥ Give a gift card for a coffee shop or other store (chose an amount that would cover a favorite purchase)
♥ Give seeds or small plants (houseplants that need little or no care, unless you know that the person is a gardener). For those who admire plants but feel they are lacking a green thumb, try an air plant (https://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/care/grow-air-plants/)
Acts of Service (this is another gift that can be given as a pretty card with an IOU enclosed)
♥ Offer to babysit, take the dog for a walk, care for the houseplants
♥ Offer to take a child or children out for a fun time (giving the parents some free time)
♥ Offer to do yardwork or housework
♥ Offer rides, shopping, wrapping, whatever would lighten the busy-ness load – the better you can match a true need, the more valuable the gift is
♥ Donate to a favorite charity or cause on behalf of your loved one
♥ Hugs – A good hug lasts for at least 20 seconds, and we all need several of these good hugs per day to thrive. Find a unique way to contribute to the daily “hug account” of your special friend or loved one.
♥ Therapeutic massage – this can be given to hands, feet, or even a more inclusive body experience. Even if you aren’t a certified massage therapist, there are simple techniques that you can learn and offer. If you add a little pure essential oil and carrier oil, the benefits will go deeper and last longer. For more ideas, see https://annebacher.com/in-touch/
BONUS: Hope – the love language of every heart
This is the best gift of all for those who are struggling during the holiday season. It may require a little more thought because each person receives hope in a unique way. Even simply acknowledging that it’s okay to struggle when “everyone is supposed to happy” can be a meaningful support to your friend or loved one. What are some simple techniques that you can teach to someone (and learn for yourself) when more hope and emotional uplift would be helpful?
♥ Essential oils for emotional aromatherapy and internal therapeutic effects – this is a huge subject, covered in many of my blog posts and social media groups and feeds. If you’d like to know more about this incredibly safe, effective, affordable, and user-friendly subject, let’s talk.
♥ Look up – one of the most effective techniques to dispel feelings of discouragement, depression, being “stuck”, and more is simply to catch yourself when you start to look and focus down. Lifting your eyes up gives both visual and physiological cues that you are open to receive positivity.
♥ Deep breathing (https://annebacher.com/deep-breathing/)
♥ Peace (https://annebacher.com/personal-peace/)
♥ Rest and managing stress (https://annebacher.com/rest-and-managing-stress-level-3-of-the-wellness-triangle/)
♥ Stillness techniques (https://annebacher.com/be-still/)
Here is the simple sugar scrub recipe I promised. A special present would be to give an IOU to provide hand scrub massages using the scrub that you have created!
DIY Ginger Lime Sugar Scrub
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar
- ½ cup doTERRA fractionated coconut oil
- 10 drops doTERRA Lime essential oil
- 5 drops doTERRA Ginger essential oil
Notes: Turbinado sugar is a large grained sugar that helps with deep exfoliation. If you don’t have turbinado sugar, you can use all brown sugar. Feel free to experiment with other essential oils to create an aroma that is especially pleasing to your loved one and that gives therapeutic benefits beyond simply soft skin.
- Combine brown sugar, turbinado sugar, fractionated coconut oil, and essential oils in bowl.
- Stir until well combined.
- Store in air-tight container.
- To use, apply a small amount to hands and scrub for 30 seconds, or until sugar dissolves. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Tip: For extra soft skin, apply doTERRA SPA Hand & Body Lotion to dry hands after the scrub has been applied.
Let me know your own ideas and especially how you have used these ideas to put together your own gifts. There is little in life that brings more joy than giving a card or gift that is perfectly suited to the receiver and that shows that you have taken the time to cherish that person in a special way. If you need customized support – this month or any time throughout the year – I am delighted to share ideas.
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