A woman looking into a window with Christmas decor

Here’s one thing I have learned in all my twenty-something years of communication ups and downs: We often communicate how we like to be be communicated with. Yet, in order to have healthy communication, we must cater our communication style to meet the needs of the other person.

The same goes with gift giving.

My love language has always been time spent. Take me out to lunch, treat me to a show by my favorite band, sit with me at the nail salon, get me tickets to a game and you will have sincerely won my heart. For me, time spent speaks to my heart in the deepest and most pure way.

This, however, is not true for everyone in my world. For my mom, I have learned throughout the years that the way to her heart is through acts of service. When I was a teenager, if I cleaned the house (like vacuumed, did laundry or cleaned dishes), I was the golden child for the day. Now that I am older, if I help her do a task (like purchase a plane ticket or help her update her resume) then I know she will light up.

I have learned that communication and gift giving are quite similar. It is best to cater to the needs of the other person, rather than to lead with your own filter.

With the holidays, just around the corner, here are a few simple gift ideas for every love language, so you can cater to the needs of the people most important to you and show them you care.

Words of Affirmation

Kind words go a long way, especially for the person whose love language is words of affirmation. For this friend or family member, you could write a compliment book, a notebook listing all of your favorite things about the person. You could also send them a Darling Compliment Card to highlight all the things you love about them.

Another gift option, could be any home decor item with an encouraging message on it. Check out this wall art from Smallwoods with an encouraging message: “Life is tough my darling, but so are you.”

Quality Time Spent

Quality time spent is just that, a gift of time. A person whose love language is quality time wants to know you care by taking time to spend with them. When shopping for this person, think “What do they like to do?”

If they are a music lover, then perhaps buy them tickets to the opera or to see their favorite band. If they are a nature lover, then take them camping. For the sports fan, get them tickets to a game or take them out to dinner at a sports bar during the playoffs.

Acts of Service

For the loved one who enjoys a good deed, an act of service goes a long way. This can come in a variety of ways. Maybe you take their dog for a walk or clean their house. Perhaps, your friend is a mom of two, and you offer to babysit while she goes out for the night.

Put your skills to good use. If you are an amazing makeup artist, then whip out your brushes and eyeliner, and give your favorite gal a holiday makeover. If you are a master hair stylist, give your friend a cut and color. Acts of service can come in multiple ways, but the heart is to make the other person feel cared for.

Physical Touch

There is nothing quite like a good massage. There are also a lot of health benefits, including improved sleep and flexibility, reduced stress and fatigue and elimination of toxins in your body. For the person in your life whose love language is physical touch, book them a massage at their local masseuse.  You can make a little gift basket with a certificate for a massage, along with body oil, lotion and a bath bomb.


The gift lover thrives off of the holiday season. This doesn’t mean they are materialistic, but instead, for this loved one a gift is a token of love. One thing to keep in mind is not to give gifts just to give them, but instead, be intentional about buying thoughtful gifts. So whether you are giving something small and inexpensive or something that has more grandeur, make sure it is a gift from the heart.

Check out the 2019 Darling Holiday Gift Guide for some great gift ideas for your family and friends.

What type of gifts are you giving this holiday season? How can we be intentional about giving meaningful gifts?

Images via Amanda Gallant, Darling Issue No. 6

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