Love languages are all the rage right now, and for good reason! If you have yet to read about them or discover what you and your loved ones’ love languages are I highly recommend it, and the holidays is the perfect time to do so! Why? It will help you nail your gifts.
It’s no secret that gift shopping can be super stressful, and the top two reasons why are usually the financial hit along with just genuinely not knowing what your loved ones will appreciate. Enter the five love languages. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, love languages are essentially a way to categorize how you prefer to give and receive love, be that through words of affirmation, physical touch, gift-giving, quality time, or acts of service. While your love language may, and likely will be, different from your loved ones, understanding what makes them feel most loved will help you decipher what types of gifts will be most meaningful to them. Keep in mind, the love language someone expresses love in is often different than the one they prefer to receive it in, so check-in and ask if you’re not sure! Not sure what this means for gift-giving? Not to worry – we’ve got you covered with this love language gift guide!
Words of Affirmation Gifts
The words of affirmation love language is all about wanting to hear or read how your loved ones feel about you through words, rather than through actions or touch. This is a great love language for gift giving as there are so many options, and you don’t need a big budget to make someone feel really special.
- A handwritten card – you can’t go wrong with simply writing out all the things you value and love about your loved one. It costs almost nothing and can make a huge impact! Often, words of affirmation lovers will appreciate this way more than any gift you could give and will keep it forever!
- Letters for different occasions – if you want to take it a step beyond a card, write your loved one different letters they can open for different occasions (ie when they feel sad, when they feel nervous, or when they need to make a big decision). All you need is some paper, envelopes, and a bit of time for this incredibly meaningful gift
- A fishbowl of love – take small pieces of paper and write things you love and appreciate about your loved one, fold it up, and put it inside a glass fishbowl or jar. Continue until it’s all filled up and they have a ton of notes to read whenever they feel down.
- A customized book – Love Book gives you the ability to create a totally customized book full of words of affirmation without breaking the bank, and there are plenty of options for romantic and non-romantic relationships. If you’re feeling crafty, you could totally create this yourself as well or there are tons of similar options out there
- Customized apparel – Especially if your loved one struggles with self-confidence, having some socks or a t-shirt with a cute saying like “love yourself,” or “you’re beautiful” can be a great way to remind them how you see them.
- Engraved keychain – Customize a keychain for them with a quote that reminds them how special they are, or how much they mean to you.
- Meaningful jewelry – Tons of jewelry brands now cater to wanting to be able to express meaningful feelings through pieces. Try Bryan Anthony’s or Pyrrha and pick something that truly represents how you see that person for an uber special gift.
Physical Touch Gifts
Contrary to words of affirmation, those with physical touch as their primary love language prefer their loved ones to show how they feel about them through touch instead of words or actions. Although this love language certainly lends itself much better to more intimate, romantic gifts, there are always options for friends and family members as well!
- At-home massage/spa night – Plan a romantic evening and offer a massage for your partner, or invite a friend or family member over for DIY pedicures and movies.
- Cheesy coupons to cash in – These never go out of style, and the cheesier the better! You can tailor these depending on your relationship with the person and they cost you nothing but your time and attention!
- Plan a date night – Gift a “date night” voucher where you promise to cuddle extra hard, or braid their hair or scratch their head for a non-romantic version.
- A head or neck massager – Yes, I’m talking about those goofy handheld ones. If you’re gifting to a family member or friend and a personal massage feels too intimate, this is a small gesture that can still mean a lot
- Cozy PJs, a housecoat, or a fuzzy blanket – While you’re not providing physical touch directly, soft, cozy fabrics show you’re thinking of ways to help them feel cared for in a similar way. You can even get a matching set for yourself and be cozy together!
- A weighted blanket – A pricier gift, but if your budget allows, it’s a great one for those who crave physical touch! A weighted blanket simulates the sensation of being hugged and can be really meaningful for friends, family, and partners alike!
The gift-giving love language is pretty straightforward when it comes to, well, doing just that – but it might feel intimidating or pressure-filled to get the gift-lovers in your life the “perfect gift.” Those who feel loved and appreciated when given gifts don’t necessarily expect fancy, over-the-top presents, it’s often just the act of someone picking out a gift especially for them that makes them feel extra special. Go for gifts that show you really know them!
- A framed photo – Nice frames don’t have to cost a fortune, and getting photos printed is super affordable! The gift of a special framed photo of the two of you is a great sentimental gift for any friend, family member, or partner.
- Scented candles – Knowing the scents that your loved ones prefer can make them feel really special while still being a budget-friendly gift. For all our North American friends, Mala the Brand has gorgeous candles with amazing scents.
- A subscription – Whether it’s coffee or wine of the month, their fave magazine, or monthly houseplants, subscriptions are the gifts that keep on giving. Bonus: they’re great if you want to splurge but your budget won’t allow it all at once, as most subscriptions have an option to pay monthly!
- A stocking, or a bunch of small gifts – Putting together a stocking or care package of all their favorite small things shows you really know them and can be adjusted based on budget.
- A personalized art print – There are tons of artists and creatives out there that will happily commission an art piece or a graphic design based on a shared memory or favorite photo you have of them and this makes a super special gift.
- Their favorite perfume or cologne, or one that makes you think of them – basically the fancier version of a scented candle.
- The splurge gift they would never get themselves – Everyone has one of these, and you’ll definitely have heard them talk about it. Whether it’s that pair of shoes they just couldn’t justify the cost of, or that jacket they didn’t need but desperately wanted, go ahead and make their day if your budget allows.
Quality Time Gifts
Those whose primary love language is quality time don’t need words or touch to remind them how cared for they are, they just want to be with the people that they love! For those with budget constraints, this love language is great for gift giving because so many experiences can be super low-cost or totally free!
- More cheesy coupons – The idea of coupons might seem really lame, but they are truly the best way to package a “quality time” gift in a cute way. Come up with creative ideas that will make them feel special like, “A day where we put our phones away and focus on each other.”
- A scrapbook or photo album – Taking the time to put this together shows you treasure all your time together, plus part of the gift is going through it together as well, double points!
- Matching copies of a book – Get a great book, but buy two copies and suggest reading them together at the same time, a two-person book club!
- Give the gift of a getaway – While our ability to travel may be limited right now, gifting a small “staycation” or even a road trip with no destination can be affordable and a promise of a ton of quality time together.
- A game that helps you grow even closer – Card games like We’re Not Really Strangers make great gifts for those who love quality time as it’s an invitation to get to know your loved ones on a deeper level.
- Plan a future vacation – Again, travel is limited right now, but the gesture of a “future” vacation is still really special and carving out the time to plan the trip together will mean a lot.
- Plan an adrenaline-filled adventure – If your budget is a bit larger and you want to splurge, gift your loved one an adrenaline-filled activity to do together like bungee jumping or skydiving. There’s no better bonding than conquering fears together!
Acts of Service Gifts
Another great love language for affordable gift-giving, the acts of service lover feels cared for when their loved ones do something for them like a chore or an errand. Thought matters much more than the monetary value when it comes to this love language, and small surprises make them feel super loved! While this love language is similar to quality time, it’s the gesture that matters most here.
- An invite to a home-cooked dinner – You can create a silly invitation for a romantic (or platonic) home-cooked meal. Bonus points if you offer to do the dishes as well!
- Secretly finish that project they never have – It will take some secrecy and planning, but presenting them with a freshly painted bathroom, or the organized front closet they always wanted but didn’t have time to go through will make them feel so loved.
- Hire a cleaning service to come in when they’re not home, or scrub the place yourself – surprise cleaning is huge for acts of service lovers and will never go unnoticed or unappreciated.
- Buy and begin filling out a household calendar – This might seem very mundane, but if your partner is used to filling you in on the household happenings, taking this small step to begin doing it yourself will be really meaningful for them.
- A food subscription service – Gifting a month or two of a meal prep subscription service like Hello Fresh (for our Canadian friends) takes the pressure off grocery shopping and meal planning. It’s not glamorous, but they’ll love it, especially if they’re not big on cooking.
- Buy yourself a gift that’s really for them – This might seem counterintuitive, but gifting yourself cooking classes, or a book on home repairs so that you can help out more around the house in a targeted way is a great gesture that they’ll really appreciate!
- Plan them a solo staycation – Whether it’s your partner, friend, or family member, all acts of service lovers appreciate things being taken off their plate as well as alone time. Book them a night in a hotel and offer to babysit, petsit, or water their plants so they can soak up some worry-free self-care.
If you’re not sure the primary love language of your friends and family members – just ask! It’s an opportunity to get to know your loved ones better, and if they’re not sure either, there are plenty of handy questionnaires out there that will help them figure it out. You can make it the topic of your next group chat and have everyone discuss their love language! I guarantee you’ll all appreciate each other more afterward, and you can follow it up by sending them this gift guide 😉 Happy Holidays!