At the Monthly Naturopathic Gathering this Sunday, we will not only be talking about gift ideas for the holidays, but also the practice of gift giving itself. Please join me at 2:00 p.m. this Sunday at 306 S. Phoenix Avenue in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Gift giving can evoke a mixed bag of feelings for people. I know several people who loathe the tradition of giving gifts and see it as too materialistic. Some see the tradition as overshadowing the true meaning of the holidays. On the other hand, it is other people’s favorite time of year, filled with happy memories and love. I find it very interesting to examine why this disparity exists.
In college, I had a wonderful professor named Dr. Heather Zwickey. She was a brilliant immunologist and researcher at our college, but she also appreciated helping students develop into well-rounded physicians. She introduced me to a book called The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman.
The main thesis of the book is people give and receive love differently. These different ways of giving and receiving love are called “love languages.” Each person has a primary love language for giving love and a separate primary love language for receiving love. The five love languages described in this book are words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. How do you give and receive love?
If the tradition of giving gifts does not suit you or your loved ones, perhaps look to the love languages to provide some alternatives for the holidays. If your friends and family don't like receiving gifts, then talk to them about providing love in their primary love language instead. Here are some ideas…
Words of affirmation—a homemade holiday letter telling them how much they mean to you
Quality time—set aside an afternoon to spend together doing something they love
Acts of service—find out if they need help getting a project done or make something homemade for them
Physical touch—consider a gift certificate for a massage or providing them with a relaxing foot bath and rub