They always say it’s better to give than receive, and it’s never as true as it is around the holidays when you’re able to give your partner a gift that really means something to them. But what if you feel nervous that you can’t think of a creative gift idea? Sometimes we just experience a bit of a block when it comes to coming up with gift ideas, but there are so many things that can help us come up with the perfect gift. For instance, knowing someone’s love language can help you know what’s most important to them and allow you to tailor a creative gift that fits. Here are a few gift ideas for each love language no matter what your budget is. If you don’t know your partner’s love language, you can (sneakily!) get them to take the free test here, or read more about each language to see which one fits their personality the best.
People with this love language treasure, above all else, when the people in their lives set aside time for them whether it’s a walk, a thoughtful conversation over coffee, or even watching a good movie. A creative gift for someone who speaks in quality time will focus on something the two of you can do together; a new game, craft or puzzle you thought they’d like that you can both work on, a class for the two of you, a box set of a show you both love, two copies of a book you’re both interested in so you can talk about it together. The best gift for them is a promise of a meaningful moment, so something that involves you as well as them will always impress them. If you have a tighter budget and more time, you can translate this same sentiment into an experience that costs nothing; plan a walking or driving tour of the places in your town where you two have memories, create a scavenger hunt where the “clues” are all related to your relationship, even set aside time to learn something from them or watch a movie or show that they love but you’ve never gotten into.
Words of Affirmation
People who speak Words of Affirmation as their love language find it hard to feel truly loved or appreciated unless they’re told so verbally. To people with other languages, it can seem like they’re being intentionally opaque when they say they don’t know how you feel despite your actions that would seem to prove it, but this is truly how they see the world and receive love. When it comes to words of affirmation, specificity is important. “I love you” is obviously a great start, but this type thrives when they hear the specific things you love about them and the reasons you’re glad they’re in your life. You might have seen variations on homemade (or personalized) books called “All The Reasons I Love You;” this is a sweet gift idea for anyone but will be especially meaningful for people who speak in Words of Affirmation. If you’re more on the creative side, a gift in the form of a song, poem, or letter might be a great way to show that you care but even sitting down and writing a list of your favorite things about them is sure to make them smile.
For people with this love language, affectionate touches, hugs and kisses help them to feel cared for throughout the day. There are subtle ways to play into this love language with a gift; a comfy blanket big enough for two, a big hammock to share, time set aside for a cozy movie night. Something they might really appreciate is a fully committed “massage night,” with oils, scrubs, candles, and maybe even soothing spa music to complete the experience.
This love language can seem really vague when you’re trying to buy a creative gift for a holiday, but it actually gives you a lot to work with! People who value gift giving don’t just want any material possession; they really value gifts that demonstrate how much thought the giver put into it. Because of this, a handmade gift will mean just as much to them as anything you buy in a store. When you’re picking a gift for a person with this love language, think about the things they care about the most, or the things you love about them, or your favorite memories of them, as each of these will wield so many great gift ideas. Give them something that will elevate their hobby, make note of something they mentioned they needed in passing, or even turn a memento from a past date, like a polaroid, ticket stub, or pressed flower into a sweet memento for them by framing it or incorporating it into a craft. As long as it comes from the heart with intentionality, you can’t go wrong.
Acts of Service
It might not seem particularly romantic to other types, but people who speak in Acts of Service can’t think of anything sweeter than taking something stressful off their plate. This might be the only type for whom “love coupons” might genuinely be a good idea; the promise of a clean house at the end of a long day, washing up after a meal, or taking the car to get washed will mean more to them than almost anything else. If you’ve noticed there’s a particular task they dread such as cleaning the house or grocery shopping, consider getting a service that can take it off of their hands and watch them start glowing from the inside out.
Giving the perfect gift rarely means that you have to break the bank; giving is an act that comes from the heart and is informed by your connection to another person. Using a tool like love languages can help you figure out what your loved one needs the most to give them something that blows them away every time.