Gift giving is found in all cultures. When children reach a certain stage they will begin presenting their parents with gifts. Whether it’s a flower from the garden, an ‘interesting’ stone they found on the ground or a roughly drawn picture on a napkin, the gift will communicate love. When you receive a gift it is not so much the intrinsic value that is important, rather the fact that someone thought about you and took time to pick out a gift that they hoped you would like.
Whilst it is true that most people appreciate gifts, for some people this 'love language' will speak far louder than others. The person who particularly responds to gifts really sees them as visual symbols of love and without these symbols they may question your love. For an overview of the five love languages read Speaking the Languages of Love.
How to figure out if someone’s love language is gifts:
If it is a child, they will tend to hold onto things given to them in a way that other children wouldn't. They would proudly take you round their room and show you various things on display and tell you exactly who gave them the gift and where it came from. Even things like little shells or leaves will hold significant importance to them and as a result, the idea of having a ‘clear out’ may provoke an extreme emotional response!
As an adult, it will be similar and often can look a little bit like ‘hoarding’. Many times their home will be full of trinkets, pictures, pens and even fridge magnets that were given to them over the years. They will remember who gave them the gift and will emotionally connect the item to the one who gave it, and as with the child who loves gifts, the idea of clearing out will not compute!
Some things to remember about giving gifts:
1. Price is less important that ‘value’
Ask yourself ‘will it be valuable in the mind of the one to whom I’m giving?’
2. Give with sincerity
As with all the love languages it will very quickly become clear if the gesture is sincere or whether it is casual or manipulative in manner.
3. Use your imagination
Anyone can give a box of chocolates or flowers and although those gifts are lovely, if you can really tailor your gift in a special way to the one receiving it, then you will increase its impact.