Love language is a concept that describes the ways people receive and express love in relationships, According to Dr Gary Chapman who developed this concept as a result of years of relationship counselling, most of us have one or two preferred love languages and knowing what resonates most intensely with the people in your life can help you develop more meaningful relationships and also help to navigate emotionally charged situations, including Christmas.
Understanding the love languages in your family can help eliminate a lot of stress during the holidays and go a long way in making them feel appreciated. It may even be helpful with your gift giving. I have long said that Christmas itself is a language of love, through acts of kindness, words of joy, spending time together in celebration and in quiet time.
Five Love Languages and Christmas
- Words of affirmation
- Words of affirmation is about expressing affection through spoken words praise, or appreciation. When this is someone’s primary love language, they enjoy kind words and encouragement. They also enjoy uplifting quotes, love notes, and cute text messages. You can make this person’s day by complimenting them or pointing out what they do well.
- Hmmmm, I think personal sentiments that are well articulated in a Christmas Card would likely go a long way just as sincere praise about the person sprinkled during conversation would matter greatly too.
- Acts of Service
- For acts of service, a person feels loved and appreciated when someone does nice things for them, such as helping with the dishes, running errands, vacuuming, or putting gas in the car. They love when people do little things for them and often can be found doing these acts of service for others.
- I am thinking this person probably volunteered to put the Christmas Hampers together for the community, and would really appreciate someone giving them a hand delivering them? I bet helping to wrap Christmas gifts they haven’t gotten around to because they were too busy helping out others would also be appreciated.
- Receiving gifts
- Gift-giving is symbolic of love and affection for someone with this love language. They treasure not only the gift itself but also the time and effort the gift-giver put into it.They also do not necessarily expect large or expensive gifts; it’s more what is behind the gift that appeals to them. In other words, when you take the time to pick out a gift specifically for them, it tells them you really know them.
- I have a few friends with this love language and it is very hard to pick out a gift for them. They always nail it on the gifts for me, so I know I have to get it right. I have learned that it is important to be observant and pick up on the sometimes subtle clues he/she will give you. At Christmas, you might want to ask this person to make you a list of suggestions and they will appreciate that you want to give them something they really want.
- Quality time
- For those who identify with quality time as their love language, love and affection are expressed through undivided attention. This means putting down the cell phone, turning off the tablet, making eye contact, and actively listening. Make sure that you make eye contact, affirm what they’re saying, and refrain from offering advice.
- It is easy to make time for someone during the holidays with virtual chat technology available now. Spend an hour catching up over a cocktail, or having coffee. What’s important is that you don’t talk to other people or get distracted by things around you that will take away from the chat you are having with that person. I enjoy quality visits with my dear friends, and cherish when we have enough time to really get into deep conversations.
- Physical touch
- A person with this love language feels loved through physical affection. Aside from sex, those who have physical touch as their primary love language feel loved when their partner holds their hand, touches their arm, or gives them a massage at the end of the day, for example.
- I really empathize with people who have this love language in this time of Covid. How they must miss the hugs, and shaking hands. If you know people who are always hearty greeters and huggers, try giving them a tap on the shoulder when you greet them if that seems ok to you. Some people kick boots or knock elbows, or fist pumps.
Finally, a word for those who noticed. Yes, I almost missed it! The day got wayyyyy ahead of me today and I have been trying to get caught up since this morning. Typically my blog is posted by 9am at the latest, however today exceptionally, it is being posted 12 hours later. It’s Divine Timing at its best!