Share the love: Giving the right kind of gift

When you give a gift, do you speak the love language of your sweetheart? Here are some ideas to share your love in ways he or she will love.

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  • I love the love. I revel in the red hearts and luscious flowers; the beauty of sweeping romantic gestures that define Valentine’s Day. Before you rush out to buy those long-stemmed, red roses or sew that monogrammed bathrobe — although I am certainly not discouraging the practice — you might take a moment to assess whether that act of kindness will speak of your love to your love.

  • In his book, The Five Love Languages

  • ,author Gary Chapman, PhD. describes languages that speak to the heart. He says that many genuine acts of love and kindness go unappreciated, because the message didn’t translate to fill the needs of the recipient. The five primary love languages, according to Dr. Chapman, are:

    1. Acts of service

    2. Physical touch

    3. Words of affirmation

    4. Quality time

    5. Receiving gifts

  • All are valuable and helpful, but have you heard of the Platinum Rule? It states, "Do unto others as they would like to have done unto them." In other words, give them what they want. It seems most people have two primary love languages. Many women have appreciated being taken to a nice dinner, but what they were hungry for was quality time with their loved one, or kind words without biting sarcasm, dismissive comments or unnecessary judgments.

  • And a husband might appreciate an elaborately prepared handmade gift, but what really says love might be a massage or positive feedback on a project. See if you can identify the love languages of your spouse, partner, friends and children. Ask them what makes them feel loved.

  • Here are a few ideas for Valentine gifts that can show your love.

  • Acts of service

    • Paint that bathroom that’s been waiting too long.

    • Give him or her a night off to do something with friends or just some me time.

    • Share a good meal.

    • Take over one of his or her chores.

  • Physical touch

    • Get a massage book and give a good massage to help your loved one de-stress.

    • Hold hands as you walk together.

    • A hand on the shoulder, a pat on the back, a long hug (my teen says wrestling).

    • Wash their hair. Many women feel calm when their heads are touched.

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  • Words of affirmation

    • Kind words or a sincere compliment lift the spirit.

    • Withhold criticism.

    • Words of encouragement give strength and courage.

    • Read poetry, the art of poetry carries the words to the soul.

    • Help with family history or listen to a story from their past that has meaning to them.

  • Quality time

    • Find something you both enjoy doing for a win-win. A walk through a park, a concert, gazing at the stars — enjoy a hobby together.

    • Visit someone who is lonely or ill.

    • Visit a temple, church or synagogue together.

    • Turn off the phones, get away for a night or a few. Check out for a time — the world will continue to spin, guaranteed.

  • Receiving gifts

    • A new dress or pair of shoes.

    • An original poem or song you wrote.

    • Flowers; the color and scent really do uplift the spirit and help promote healing and cheer.

    • Cheese. OK, chocolate, but cheese has more mood-elevating properties than chocolate.

    • A wonderful book, something to make life easier, more pleasant or a novelty to promote dopamine, the neurotransmitter that gives a feeling of well-being.

  • It’s apparent that showing love doesn’t have to cost a great deal of money, but an investment of time and thought.

  • Love heals and cheers and is the answer to the world’s ills. Make sure the love you share is the love they need. Share the love this season and make your world a bit of heaven on earth.

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Pam McMurtry is a wife, parent, artist and writer. Find her book "A Harvest and Halloween Handbook" on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Website: http://www.pammcmurtry.com

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