What comes to mind when I say the holiday season? For some it’s quality time to reconnect with your partner, it’s visiting the ones you love (and some that drive you nuts), festive decor, and eating lots of yummy food. But since early childhood there’s also been the excitement and expectation of gift giving.
Whether it’s your first holiday season together as a couple, or you’ve been married many years, the pressure may be on to find the perfect holiday gift. So what if I told you that you can be more strategic in picking out a present and communicating what you really mean when you give a gift— “I love you.”
The best way to touch your partner’s heart is to speak their love language. Love languages are the ways in which you most like to receive love. There are five of them (words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch), and though they all feel nice, you typically have a primary and secondary language that’s most meaningful.
I work with so many couples that both say “I love you,” but it’s not in language that means the most to their partner, so they often don’t hear it and this creates disconnection. To make sure you’re connecting and loving each other as effectively as possible, take this free assessment to learn about your love languages. Then use this information to plan the best holiday gift ever!
To help you out this holiday season, I’ve created five thoughtful gifts or activities based on each love language. You just need to pick which one your partner will enjoy most, and personalize it so that it’s truly a holiday gift from your heart.
Before you hit the mall and start shopping, consider these:
QUALITY TIME: Your partner most appreciates your undivided attention. This gift should be about spending time together, so give her an experience that you can enjoy together. Book a vacation or weekend away at a bed & breakfast, get concert tickets, or head to a Broadway show. Sign up for a class together—cooking, gym, or scuba diving. Treat her to a fancy dinner or laugh together at a comedy show.
WORDS OF AFFIRMATION: Your partner most appreciates praise. This gift should communicate how amazing and wonderful you think she is, or how much you value your relationship. Write a romantic (or funny) poem and frame it. Create a play list or throw back mix tape of songs that remind you of her. Try jewelry with both of your initials, her nickname, or wedding anniversary stamped into it. As a business owner I love when my husband says he’s proud of me, so a meaningful gift might be a “boss lady” mug or tank top with relevant words of affirmation on it. A great resource is Etsy,com for lots of customizable gifts. Just don’t forget to write out a thoughtful card!
RECEIVING A GIFT: Your partner most appreciates receiving a gift. It’s the thoughtfulness behind the gift that’s most important, so the present should be specific to your partner. It could be something sentimental that is a reminder of a special memory you shared together. For example, create a photo album from a vacation, or of all the past holidays you’ve spent together. You can also choose a gift that aligns with her interests or hobbies. For instance, if you’re partner is passionate about the environment, make a donation to her favorite conservation organization or other charity. If she’s artistic, buy her art supplies or a piece of artwork she admired. If she’s a fashionista, pick out an item from her favorite designer.
ACTS OF SERVICE: Your partner most appreciates it when she feels taken care of, or you make her life easier in some way. Actions speak louder than words! Sign up for a food delivery service and offer to prepare the meals, hire a house cleaner (or do it yourself), get her car detailed or a remote car starter. You can also create a coupon book of household chores or treats, such as breakfast in bed, which your partner can cash in throughout the year.
PHYSICAL TOUCH: Your partner most appreciates physical affection. Take a couples massage class together then set up a relaxing environment at home by purchasing candles, music and massage oils. You can also try luxurious bath products and lotions. Get physical by purchasing private or group dance classes. Or buy something that makes it extra enjoyable to snuggle up—new bedding, soft blankets, or a hammock!
Wishing you and yours a holiday season of love, connection and intimacy.