Thoughts On Gift Giving And Receiving

Autumn Water at Sunset by Chao Shao-an from his book Paintings by Chao Shao-an. This gorgeous coffee table book that makes a great wish list item for the Holidays!

Speaking and Understanding the 5 Love Languages and Gift Giving and Receiving

Understanding Love Languages

Gary Chapman wrote a best selling book called the 5 Love Languages. In the book he describes the way people express and receive love and how misunderstanding love languages can lead to stress in relationships.

He lists the five love languages as:

  • Physical Touch
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Quality Time
  • Gift Giving

An easy way to see the value of this is to think about a mother and son. The son is grown and has his own family now, working ambitiously to try to provide for his family and raise his children. Even as busy as he is, whenever his mother has an issue with her house, he is there playing the handyman, mending a fence or unclogging a drain. Also when Christmas comes around he spares no expense at giving her an expensive, thoughtful gift. The mother, however, misses seeing her Son and his family regularly and things with the pandemic has completely halted the previously infrequent visits. The Son's love languages are Acts of Service and Gift Giving but the mother only understands Quality Time.

In general it is helpful to understand love languages so you can recognize when someone is trying to express love for you even if it is a love language that is not easy for you to appreciate. Also it is good to know the love language of those who are closest to you so that when you take the time to express your love, it is done in a way that is most well received.

Gift Giving and Receiving

The season is upon us for giving gifts! It always amazes me how much of our national economy revolves around gift giving during the Holiday season. The origin story behind the phrase "Black Friday" is that retail stores lose money the whole year until the Holiday Shopping craze begins on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Although this is inaccurate, Holiday gift giving still accounts for up to 20% of annual spending.

I've been guilty of all forms of poor Holiday Gift Giving and Receiving. Some of these include:

  • Waiting until the last minute and wandering aimlessly through the mall eventually buying something expensive and poorly chosen out of panic.
  • Buying a gift for someone as a way to curry favor with them in the hope that they would give me something back in the future.
  • Poorly communicating what I wanted to loved ones and then feeling disappointed or resentful when they were unable to read my mind.

Some Tips for Holiday Gift Giving and Receiving

  • Don't mix up other relationship issues with Holiday Gift Giving. If there is resentment or confusion in a relationship, talk it out and resolve it separately. 
  • If you are difficult to shop for, take time to shop for yourself and communicate to your loved ones the things that you want.
  • Reconnect before you shop. If you haven't spoken to a loved one in a while, give them a call and spend time reconnecting.
  • With the pandemic limiting Holiday gatherings, online shopping and shipping gifts directly to loved ones is going to be very common. If you give yourself enough time, this can be such a wonderfully stress free way to do your Holiday Shopping.
  • Consider organizing a gift exchange amongst your family. Every year our extended family does a gift exchange. We draw names and each of us is responsible for purchasing a gift for one other family member who is not in our immediate family. We set a $100 limit and each person participating in the gift exchange is encouraged to put together a wish list. This may seem un-romantic but we have found that this reduces the amount of stress related to Holiday shopping by making it easy to shop and by reducing and eliminating returns.
  • Receiving gifts with grace is a smaller piece of allowing yourself to receive the things that you want. So many times we deny ourselves the things that we want out of a false sense of unworthiness. Those that know you best know that you deserve whatever it is that you want. Allow yourself to receive those things whether they be as gifts or through any other means.

Video introducing the new wish list feature on our OAS Website. Help us test the feature by adding desired products to your wish list and sending the wish list to friends and family.

Introducing Wish Lists to OAS Website

We are excited to be test a new Wish List feature on our OAS Website. This is an easy way to add your favorite items from OAS onto a wish list that you can send to your friends and loved ones to make gift giving easier.

Watch the video above for a quick demonstration of how it works!

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