This Monday marks the start of a beloved Christmas tradition in my house: Chris’s Ten Days of Christmas. Every year starting on December 15th, my husband gets to open one present each day (sometimes two when he get’s snoopy) leading up to Christmas.
It’s a tradition that’s become rather legendary. Year after year our friends and family look at Chris, and all his presents, and think him completely spoiled. Honestly he is. But as his wife, I don’t mind. Chris spoils me all year long, and I love the chance to make him feel loved and special, to speak his love language of gifts.
This year, our oldest daughter is joining in the fun. This week, Aletheia and I went shopping at the dollar store for our “Honey.” With money from her piggy bank she made a list of items to shop for, got her gifts with a little help from mom, and came home to wrap them all by herself. It was awesome fun to watch her go. To watch her purchase and prepare gifts for her daddy and other people she loves.
The love language of gifts is a big deal in our family. My husband loves to give, and like a little kid on Christmas morning he also loves to receive. And now, what a joy it is to see our little girl following in his footsteps.
Sometimes it’s easy to get caught in the idea or the pressure of finding the perfect present. Something tangible, something bought, something wrapped and stuffed beneath the tree. But the art of giving is so much more.
I n his book, The Five Love Languages, author Gary Chapman explains that everyone has one or two love languages that resonate more deeply than others.
According to Chapman the five love languages include:
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation
Our strongest love language not only determines how we best receive love from others but also impacts how we are most likely to show love to others.
When it comes to Christmas giving consider each person on your list. How do they often show love to the people around them? What sort of ‘gift’ would most likely speak love to them?
Personally a gift that speaks volumes to my heart isn’t a present under the tree but the chance to go write for a few hours. For my birthday my mom watched my girls for a whole day so I could do just that. It was the best present she could possibly give me.
When we take the time to observe the people we love and find what really makes them tick we can often give to them in ways that are far more lasting and far more meaningful than anything bought from a store.
These are the gifts that echo the One Gift we celebrate at Christmas. The One Gift need wasn’t placed under a tree but inside a manger. The One Gift that came and met the need of a lost and broken world, that filled the deepest desire of every human heart.
When it comes to love languages, Jesus speaks them all, and He speaks them straight to our hearts. He is the master of gifts. The master of all we enjoy.
This year, don’t succumb to the pressure of finding the perfect gift. Succumb to His example.
Be the gift. Meet the need. Fulfill a heart’s desire.
Speak the language of Manger Love. The language that swaddles everything in billowing folds of grace.