Before you shop for the holidays, you might want to first, learn, listen, and think. Here’s what I mean.
- Learn: My love language is not gift giving, so I don’t necessarily “need” a gift to feel loved. If you haven’t read the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, perhaps this can be a gift to yourself first, then for a loved one! This book has taught me two things:
- We’re not all good at buying gifts for a very good reason. If it’s not what makes you tick, you’re going to be less thoughtful and practiced in this department.
- The other lesson is that besides gifts for Christmas or Hanukkah, you may want to study how the people on your gift giving list may respond better to an act of service (cook dinner for them), quality time (take them to a movie just the two of you), a physical touch (a massage or hey, just a big hug!) or words of affirmation (write them a love note) instead of an actual gift.
For your information, my love language is physical touch. My secondary language is words of affirmation which is a much easier method of gift giving. I remember and keep all the written messages and cards that people have given me through the years and a sit down to read them every now and again. They fill me with warm fuzzies!
- Listen. It’s not too late to LISTEN to what your tribe is asking for. Most people don’t come out and say, “Hey this is what I want for the holidays.” –even though we all should… If you’re strolling through a boutique together and your pal picks up a red lipstick or if you’re driving in a car and he says, “I hear XX movie is great” take this as a cue. We are all dropping clues to what we are thinking and hoping to have or experience. For example, throughout the year anytime my husband proclaims he likes a certain vintage of wine or varietal of grapes, I jot it down. If he makes a statement about a watch in a magazine, I jot it down. If he comments how delicious a particular restaurant was, I jot it down. When his birthday or the holidays roll around I check my list. I can buy him wine, treat him to dinner or purchase a watch (either the exact one or a similar look and style).
- Think. My rule of thumb is often: buy them something they wouldn’t buy themselves. So think, what wouldn’t they consider to splurge on themselves. A hot air balloon ride, skydiving, a cooking class. An experience is more likely to generate a lasting impression versus a gift card or cash. I use this speech often for clients or friends asking what to buy their parents or people you know have everything!
It’s not too late to get this going before the holiday season really kicks off. Go get’em tiger!