Saturday, March 22, 2014

Gifting as an Act of Love

Hey guys! I just wanted to pop in and talk a little bit about my significant other's birthday, and how I'm showing him I love him! Jacob is turning 23 on the 23rd of May, and I've got some BIG plans. I am so incredibly excited to be able to share life with this big lug, and I cannot wait to start his 23 days of gifting!

So, 23 days of gifting, much like advent, is going to take place from the beginning of May all the way up to his birthday, with a gift on each day. Some of the gifts will be cheap small, and some of them will be bigger, with the biggest gift on his actual birthday.

Gift giving is my love language, no doubt about it. A lot of people don't understand that, and feel like that means I try to buy affection, but that really isn't true. Chances are, if I'm buying something I already have a relationship with that person. I'm in no way buying their love, I'm showing mine. I LOVE being able to purchase a gift that I've put a lot of thought into and give it to someone to show how much I care about them. The five love languages are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. I don't feel like any one is better than the other.

The other day a friend of mine on Facebook said she was really upset about how out of proportion gift giving has gotten in relation to children. She said she thought it was awful to spend so much money on showering your children with gifts, and that it would just spoil them, and that that was the major problem with children today. Let me preface this with, I don't care about your opinions and you are welcome to have them, but when you start telling other people how to raise their child/ren, that is where I start to get frustrated. Sure, greed has become a major issue in the general population, but only buying your child "one thing you want, one thing you need, one thing you wear, and one thing you read" isn't going to cut back on how greedy your child is. It's the way we give and receive gifts that affect the way children will think of gifts.

If we as a collective whole show gratitude in all things, so will the children. Actions are learned. Showering your child with gifts will not make them greedy, not teaching them gratitude will. Let me tell you, right now if anyone wanted to shower me with gifts, I'd cry from thankfulness. It's ok for children to be disappointed with a particular gift. What is not ok, is a child throwing a tantrum because they got a pink shirt instead of a salmon shirt. Making children feel like they have to love everything they are given does not lead to grateful children. Teaching a child that someone loves them very much, and that is why they got them a gift, leads to gratitude. I remember as a kid feeling like I couldn't tell someone I didn't like the color of a toy or fit of a shirt because I didn't want it to hurt their feelings, and because of that they essentially wasted their money, because I didn't play with the toy or wear the clothes I didn't like as much.

If your love language is giving and receiving gifts, Give. Them. Don't let people make you feel like your love is less because it isn't "real".  Your love is just as real as you are. If I want to give my boyfriend 23 gifts for his birthday, or a new mom a necklace with her daughters name and a crystal of her namesake (Ruby, how cute is that?) or a grieving coworker a mug that says You Are Loved, or Refuse to Sink I'm going to do it, because that is how I show my love the best. The absolute best way for me to show my love is with something tangible they can see and touch that will always remind them they are thought of and loved on.

Show your love the best way you know how, and never let anyone tell you it is not enough.

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