February 19, 2015

Let Me Be Loved: Gift Giving

In case you were wondering… Gift Giving is my love language! Today I’m joined again by Allison DeWolf, who has Gift Giving as her secondary love language (yes, that’s a thing). Gift Givers can be one of the harder ones to pick out of a crowd, since we can’t feasibly give physical gifts every time we see you, but we love to shower gifts on our family and friends any time the opportunity presents itself. I think you’ll find that Christmas and birthdays are highly beloved by Gift Givers everywhere ;-) 

A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver. ~Thomas á Kempis

How does Gift Giving make you feel loved? 

There are so many ways that I feel loved through gifts. I feel loved every time someone gives me a little something – it doesn't have to be something they bought, just anything – that says they took the time to pick something out or make something for me, or they happened to see something and thought “Hey, I bet Amanda would really like this.” Any time I’ll be out for food or coffee with a friend and they say “Don’t worry about it, I’m paying for you”, that to me is a wonderful gift. Handmade things are always awesome, but really little thing. Handwritten letters, or e-mails, or even a random text message to say that someone was thinking about me, and took the time to give me that little something. For me personally, Gift Giving overlaps a lot with Quality Time – but where for Quality Time, the awesome thing is not so much what they do as that they are doing it together, for a Gift Giver, the awesome part about hanging out is that you thought of a place that you knew they would enjoy and took them there. I can usually look at any kind gesture or action as a gift - but actual, physical presents mean the most to me.

Allison: Gifts are my secondary language, I also really appreciate when someone gives me something “just because”, whether it’s an ice cream cone on the first day of school (a tradition from elementary school that I still keep in college), cute earrings from my roommate, or a care package from my family.

What are some of the struggles Gift Givers face in order to feel love?

It is very easy to fall into the trap of being ashamed of your love language, and worrying that other people will think you are materialistic. After I first figured out that my love language was Gift Giving, I felt guilty for a really long time because I thought telling people my love language would make it seem like I was asking for people to buy me gifts. Plus, it’s not like people can be giving you gifts all the time, so it is a little bit of a struggle to feel loved through other methods such as words of affirmation or quality time or physical touch. Those are all wonderful and nice, of course, but to a Gift Giver they don’t mean the same thing as a little something. A priest I talked to once about my struggle to feel loved helped me out a lot with this. He told me that if Gift Giving is how I feel loved, there is absolutely nothing wrong, or selfish, about it. He also advised me to try and look at every act and deed as a gift, not just the physical objects given to me. I've worked on that, and it does help!

Allison: I resisted my love language of gifts for a long time, because it made me feel greedy. I didn't want to seem like people had to buy my love. But I have come to realize that it’s so much more than the cost, but rather the thought and meaning behind the gift. A flower my niece picked for me in the yard is just as nice as a bouquet from the store, when they’re both given from the heart.

How does a Gift Giver show love?

I love to buy and make little gifts for my loved ones just as much as I love to receive gifts. From time to time you may receive something from me “just because”. Unfortunately, budgets are real, and I have to face the fact that I can’t buy things for everyone all the time, but if I can, I will, and if I can’t afford it then I will make sure you know that I are thinking of you on your birthday or Christmas or other special occasion with a card or letter or text or Facebook message.

What is the best way to love a Gift Giver?

I would say never, but even I forget to do this sometimes, and we’re none of us perfect, so I will merely strongly advise you, do NOT forget to give a Gift Giver a present for their birthday or Christmas, or any other special event (if you are very close with the person. If you aren't as close of friends – make sure you send them at least a card, or write on their Facebook Wall). Most people do grow out of gifts, in a way, as they get older and can just go and buy things whenever they want them, but trust me – Gift Givers never outgrow gifts. I keep a little list of things that I’m not going to buy myself so that my family and boyfriend have ideas for Christmas and birthdays. Handmade, or purchased items don’t make much of a difference – it’s all in the thought that you put into the gift. (and yes… it’s easy to tell when someone truly picked out something for me, or when they were just “Oh hey, I need something for Amanda.) If you want to make a gift giver feel really loved and special, random surprises when there is no special occasion are the best thing in the whole world. Days when someone surprises me with a cup of coffee or a little treat are the best days. 

Allison: The small things are noticed and appreciated. I don’t need big, expensive gifts, but even a little note in the mail can make a miserable day brighter.

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift. ~Pierre Corneille, Le Menteur

Read the whole series:
Let Me Be Loved: Introduction
Let Me Be Loved: Acts of Service
Let Me Be Loved: Words of Affirmation
Let Me Be Loved: Physical Touch

1 comment:

  1. Can I just talk about how much I LOVED THIS POST? I love Love Languages...also, funnily enough, mine has changed over the last few years. I always thought it was touch + quality time, but I re-took the test last week and it confirmed what I'd suspected for a while...mine is Gift-Giving, both to receive and give!

    So this post was perfect. I have a couple friends who don't like gifts at all, so it's interesting to figure out how to show them affection and appreciation in other ways. Lovely post!


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