In my marriage, gifts are viewed entirely differently by each of us.
Exhibit A – Jordan’s Wish List: Socks, deodorant, a letter opener (not even kidding), headphones (not like fancy ones, I mean, Finnley broke his cheapy in-ear ones and he wants replacements), books (not fun ones, old historic ones), and of course new underwear.
Literally Jordan’s Christmas wish list is the anthesis of mine in many regards.
Exhibit B – Amy’s Wish List: Expensive makeup I could never justify buying, cozy joggers, local artisan baby/mama products, a camera, a new hat…on and on I go.
Basically the glaringly obvious difference would be – BUDGET and PRACTICALITY. Jordan views receiving gifts as an opportunity to cover things he’d normally have to purchase himself and I view gifts as an opportunity to get special things you wouldn’t normally spend money on.
Our ideals on what gifting looks like often extend beyond our own personal wants and plays out how we think gifting should go, like this: Jordan thinks “Well this is a great time to buy Amy that new stapler she says we need!” and I think “Oh Jordan would love this gorgeous sweater he’d never buy himself, but I’ll buy it for him!”.
As I’m sure you can imagine, this creates some tension in our marriage at times when I feel hurt that I feel Jordan didn’t try and get me something I’d love and Jordan feels exasperated because although I bought a gift for him…it all comes out of the same account and it was expensive.
Now…there is a simple explanation for this: The 5 Love Languages. Without making this about a book review – essentially there are five different ways people feel loved. Quality Time: Spending intentional time with one another. Physically Touch: Intentional physical contact. Acts of Service: Intentionally doing something for the other. Gifts: Receiving things, and lastly (and my #1): Words of Affirmation: Intentionally sharing your love and affirmation verbally, written etc.
There are tons of quizzes online to figure out what yours are, but once you kind of know them – you get a pretty good idea of what yours are. Often how you want to show people you love them is a pretty good indication of what yours might be. Obviously, gifts are mine and not Jordan’s and therefore gifts to him and from him hold a much different significance in his eyes than they do mine.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve grown to LOVE giving gifts much more than receiving them and I am like five years old when it comes to giving them. I cannot WAIT to give people their gifts when I find something or get a great idea of something they’d love. I’m basically like *..playing it cool….playing it smooth….”WANNA KNOW WHAT I GOT YOU!? OPEN IT! OPEN IT!!” It’s just the best when you know it’s something they’ll truly appreciate.
Part of this is I think I’ve learned to think outside the box when it comes to gifts, and if love languages are true – often that means you can find them other places than department stores (why when I think Christmas shopping do I always think like Macy’s Department Store? I literally almost never shop at department stores! Too many Christmas movies I suppose!)
For example, Jordan’s love languages are physical touch and quality time. For him, he wants my undivided attention (which is hard to get – I’ve got the attention span of a squirrel on six shots of espresso). I need to turn my phone off, not invite any people along and spend time with just him making meaningful memories. As for the physical touch..this is a family rated blog…but I’m sure you can figure it out.
For me on the other hand, I love gifts that have thought behind them and coupled with a written card (Words of affirmation!) telling me why he’s my biggest fan or something along those lines..means the WORLD to me!
Recently, I was given this most beautiful bracelet. It’s a handmade treasure from a gorgeous lower mainland company called DearLovesCo. I love receiving unique locally made gifts! They’re often way more unique, high quality and since I’ve started blogging, I’ve come to understand every purchase from a small business is basically saying “I support your dreams!” and this has become a big priority for me . Made with a 24k gold centrepiece, glass beads at the ends and (what i think might be the most surprising part for me) was how much I love the forest green cord! The yellow gold and forest green look amazing together and not a combo I would usually choose for myself, but it’s totally put me on to a new love of dark green! There is a large selection of centrepiece and cord colours to choose from..I kind of want more because they’d look so great all stacked together.
Now, this is the part I love the most about it..is it’s not just a normal, beautiful bracelet – though you could wear it that way. It’s original design was for it to be used as a nursing bracelet! What’s a nursing bracelet you ask? I have had the hardest time remembering which side I last nursed on and would end up being slightly uncomfortable on one side after a couple of hours if I miscalculated (oops). I would try and remember by putting it in my phone, which I didn’t always have on me or I’d forget or I’d wear a hair elastic on my wrist which would eventually be used in my hair, forgetting my original intention. Now, thanks to the high quality elastic, I just simply switch my bracelet from wrist to wrist! Problem solved! I get so many compliments on it and although I am nearing the end of my time nursing Finnley, it will just make for a very pretty, understated accessory!
To me a gift like this checks all the boxes – it wasn’t that it cost ridiculous amounts of money – it just matched my priorities – locally made, pretty, and useful! Ding ding! The trifecta!
This Christmas, instead of solely trying to figure out how many gifts can you squeeze out of your budget, consider “what makes this person feel most loved?” Could it be a voucher for specific time together? (Can you guess what I”m getting Jordan?…Just don’t tell him!) . Is it a donation that will support a cause they are passionate about? (Act of Service!) Or maybe a gift that isn’t just another piece of clutter to have around the house, but will actually serve a helpful purpose. (Also, go online and take a love languages quiz – it will help you earn brownie points with evvvverrryyone)
I’ve loved wearing my nursing bracelet and it’s helped me out so much and so I’ve teamed up with DearLovesCo to give away a 25 dollar shop credit towards one of their beautiful creations – Don’t worry, I totally understand if you want to keep it for yourself! Simply check out my instagram (@MrsAmyBaker) for details and enter for your chance to win!