The Best Gifts for Each Love Language
It’s almost impossible to be sure that the gifts you buy for your loved ones will be received well.
If you’re anything like me, gift-giving can become a huge source of anxiety. This is especially true during the holidays when we’re all trying to juggle several gifts for several people at once. Unable to make a decision, I’ll procrastinate and stress and waffle undecided over a handful of generic gift options until the very last minute.
If you’ve ever ended up half-heartedly purchasing a gift card just hours before you absolutely have to deliver the gift, you know the feeling of disappointment that brings. Not necessarily to the gift receiver, but to you! Because of course you want your gift to represent how you feel and what that person means to you – but it’s pretty tough for one gift to express a feeling that encompasses so much.
The Best Gifts for the 5 Love Languages
Today, my friends, I have what I hope will be a solution for all of us anxious gift-givers: A gift guide based on the 5 Love Languages.
If you don’t know your loved ones’ Love Languages, this is a great opportunity to open up that conversation, learn a little more about them, and covertly discover how best to approach finding them a gift they’ll really love.
You can thank me later.
1. Something handmade or DIY’d
Rather than purchasing a ready-made item, add a personal touch of meaning by giving a handmade gift to someone who communicates love through gifted tokens. A DIY gift can also be much simpler than something store-bought; what truly speaks to those whose Love Language is Receiving Gifts is not the gift itself, but the thought behind it (and in the case of D.I.Y., the personal effort put into making it). The fact that you went to the trouble of not just coming up with a gift idea, but that you made that gift yourself is sure to get those warm fuzzies going.
Need some ideas? Here are a ton of easy handmade gifts.
2. A souvenir from a faraway place
This option might not be available to everyone, but if you’re able to, grab a gift for your loved one while you’re on a trip somewhere. Again, this is less about the gift itself and more about the fact that you’re showing your loved one you were thinking about them somewhere along your travels. Plus, you get to give a unique gift they can’t purchase at home.
3. Paint Nites, ceramics/pottery painting, terrarium building
In most cities now, there is no shortage of D.I.Y. creative events. This idea combines a physical gift with the gift of quality time. Plus, you might learn something or discover a new creative passion.
4. Give green
No, I don’t mean cash. I’m talking about houseplants! Head to your nearest greenhouse or garden centre and pick out a plant that speaks to you or reminds you of who you’re gifting to. There are so many benefits to having plants in the home. Plus, giving a living thing that requires care means the gift-receiver will interact often with your gift, and it’ll remind them of you every time!
For people who communicate and understand love through words of affirmation, even a simple but heartfelt handwritten letter will have you playing their heartstrings like a harp. But, if you yourself aren’t quite so literate in affirming words, try one of these ideas:
1. Make a “52 Things I Love About You” card deck
I’ve given this gift so many times and it never fails to impress. Super personal and super easy to make, head to the dollar store (or your board games closet) and grab a deck of playing cards. Then, on each card, write one thing you love about the person.
Gift it in the playing card box itself, or punch a little hole in the top corner of each card and attach the deck with some string so it reads like a book.
2. Lightboxes and letterboards
These are very trendy right now, and for good reason! Customizable and cute, you can find lightboxes and letter-boards at most craft stores, department stores, I’ve even seen a bunch of them at the dollar store now.
Gift it as-is, or open up the box and write a sweet (or funny) message with the letters and present it that way.
3. Gift a deck of affirmation cards
If you’re not familiar, affirmation decks contain any number of cards that have affirming, inspirational, feel-good messages written on each card. Easy to throw in your bag, keep on your bedside table, or at your work desk, there are so many gorgeous affirmation decks that you can find easily at most bookstores now.
Find one with a theme that speaks to you (or the person you’re gifting to), or make your own book of affirmations using the pages in a small notebook.
Need suggestions? Here are our favourite affirmation decks.
4. Create a crowd-sourced video of affirmations
Affirmation cards are a great gift idea on their own, but why not take it to the next level?
On an important day for my best friend, I reached out to her friends and family and requested that each person send a 10-30 second video with their phones saying something encouraging or something they loved about her. I recorded a short video of my own to add, then compiled all the videos and stitched them together using the free video editing software already loaded on my computer.
Then, I uploaded it to YouTube and surprised her with the link. She can revisit the video whenever she wants for a little reminder of how much she’s loved.
1. Book them a massage, hair appointment, nail appointment, or spa treatment
Who doesn’t love a good pampering? If you can, find out if they have a favourite masseuse/spa/salon and you’ll eliminate the chance of gifting a bad experience. If you have the budget, book yourself in too and go together! Or, light some candles, grab some nail polish, learn some basic massage techniques, and gift an at-home DIY spa day to get a little more intimate.
2. Bring the warm & cozy
Blankets, scarves, sweaters, slippers, mittens, new towels, pajamas… if it’s soft and wearable, it’s a great gift idea for the touchy-feely types.
3. Get moving with a physical activity
Get the body moving and engaged for a whole new way to express love through physical touch. Sign them up for a yoga studio membership to get them back in touch (see what I did there) with their own body.
Book a dance lesson together – Zumba for a friend, tango for a partner. Go swimming. Try out partnered acro-yoga. Join a community sports league. The list is endless!
4. Homemade baking
Although this doesn’t directly incorporate physical touch, eating food (especially good food) is a very physical experience. Bake a batch of their favourite cookies, fudge brownies, or go all-out and whip up a 3 (or 5) course meal if you’re up to the task.
1. Set up a subscription service
There are literally hundreds of subscription box services out there now that deliver things we actually need right to our doorsteps. Go for something practical – a meal subscription service like HelloFresh, shaving razors from DollarShaveClub, or fun and comfy MeUndies. Or, go for something more luxe like FabFitFun or the Beard Club.
Set your loved one up for a month or two so they can test the service out, then hand over the account info to them so they can cancel or continue if they want.
2. Breakfast in bed
A classic, but sadly not many people do this anymore! Plus, who says it has to be breakfast or even the morning time? No one. Is your loved one’s favourite food spaghetti and meatballs?
Whip up a big bowl of homemade pasta at dinner time and lay out a spread on their bed (I recommend strategically placing some towels around and underneath to prevent any messes or spills). Then, ring the dinner bell, throw on a movie if you like, and get cozy for the evening.
3. Practical items
This might seem boring, but for some people, the best gifts are the things they need but don’t want to have to spend their own money on. A nice frying pan, a tea kettle, reusable produce bags, and beeswax wraps are all great options.
Gifting items that make practical daily tasks easier shows that you value and notice your loved one’s time and hard work and want to make those day-to-day menial tasks easier or more pleasant for them.
4. Start an indoor herb garden
There are so many indoor/windowsill herb garden kits out there you can buy, or head to your local greenhouse and pick out some seeds and little pots. Get them planted, then deliver your gift. Not only will the receiver be able to watch their plants grow and mature, they can then actually use the herbs in cooking (no more buying them from the grocery store!) and even for aromatherapy.
Practical, pretty, and useful. And, it’s a living thing that will make them think of you whenever they see it.
1. Set up a staycation
Whether it’s booking a night or two in a hotel or Airbnb in your own city (or a nearby one) or transforming your own home into a 5-star resort (or as close to it as you can get!), the important thing here is spending some devoted, uninterrupted time with your loved one.
Think about establishing your space as a no-tech-zone and put the phones and computers away for a night (except to turn on the Netflix and order SkiptheDishes or Uber Eats, of course).
2. Tickets to a special concert or event
Check out entertainment events going on in your community! Especially around the holidays, there is rarely a shortage of things to do and see.
Grab tickets to a concert, a museum, a live theatre or comedy show, a festival, a sporting event; whatever you decide, doing something special together that you might not normally do gives you the chance to deepen your bond.
3. Buy a new board game or multi-player video game
For most people who speak love through quality time, spending 30 minutes playing games with a deck of cards can mean the world. I’m not suggesting you do that necessarily, but buying a new board game or video game to learn and play together gives you both an opportunity to collaborate and have some fun!
I personally would recommend seeking out non-competitive games where you can both be on the same team, working together to meet a goal. That said, some friendly competition can also be really exciting – just make sure you know your audience when you’re choosing a game!
4. Build a date night box
A friend of mine told me about a time when she and her partner gifted each other “date night boxes.” Choose a date idea (preferably something new to both of you), find a shoebox, and pack it full of the supplies you need/want for the date.
For example, my friend’s partner packed a box with hot chocolate, a travel mug, a hat and mittens, a disposable camera, and two tickets to the local outdoor ice rink; everything they needed for an ice skating date (minus, of course, the skates themselves). This is absolutely not limited to romantic partners, either. Don’t knock the friend date till you try it!
There you have it, friends! The best gift ideas for each of the 5 Love Languages.
Remember that no matter what gift you give, the people in your life who truly belong there only want the gift of your presence in their lives.
Read more about the five love languages in our Love Languages Series