I believe a great conversation starter is talking about what are your love languages. You get to know someone better and more understand what makes them tick. My love languages are quality time, touch, words of affirmation, acts of service and coming in at a very large distance in the back, gifts.
I'm not a great gift giver, in fact, with every holiday season I buy last minute. I do, I wish I could say otherwise, but I don't, because I can't. The mere thought of having to get creative about each person in my life that I spend quality time with and then wrapping said gift actually is probably one of the reasons I started taking anxiety medicine 3 months ago...in preparation for the holiday season.
Now, do I find things for people along the way on random days and think that would be great for this person or that? Not often, but it has happened. Do I think of extravagant ways to thank someone for their generosity, their friendship and their love by having stationary made for them with their name on it and funny sayings we have exchanged over the years? Absolutely. Do I follow through with getting it made and giving it? Definitely not. If the "thought that counts" really was what counted...I'd be highest ranking scorer.
Gifts are not my love language, but you know what I unwrap with most gifts I open? Especially if I hadn't planned on giving that person a gift or that many gifts, or better yet, I just thought the quality time we both managed to squeeze into our busy schedules to spend with each other be gift enough. I untie that bow, tear open that wrapping paper, and guilt comes fluttering out of the box like exploding glitter. But the way I get rid of this glitter, unlike the actual glitter that never comes off anything for life, is I give a gift back to not seem ungrateful or ungiving. This is not always to my readers that are my family and friends, but I also won't say it isn't uncommon.
I guess, for me, gifting someone is about as unnatural as complimenting people on the regular. I think how wonderful, how beautiful, how amazing, the gift or the person is, but I forget to let the words slip out of my mouth. I think how thoughtful, how perfect for me, how awesome this gift is, but I start to simultaneously wander, did they expect one from me? Was my gift lame? Did they think I didn't put as much thought or worse, money, into the gift I got them as they got me?
Am I alone? Does gifting stress anyone else out? I have suggested before to do donations or consider this trip our gifts to each other or draw a name. And sometimes people agree, but inevitably they agree with "but I had already gotten you a little something" or a "it's not a big deal, I had just thought of you when I saw it".
I am so appreciative people think of me and want to gift me with things that made them think of me, but would I be the slightest bit offended if I got a phone call or a card instead? No friggin' way!
Will I buy gifts for people because I want to for the holiday season? Yes. Will they be awesome? Likely not. But will I love spending time with them? Laughing with them? Getting jolly ol' drunk with them? Eating too much of all the things with them? Dancing with them? Absofuckinlutely! Would I be the least bit sad if there was no gift under any tree for me wrapped, but the people I adore sitting next to me instead? Hell no!
Sometimes I just have to remind myself that nobody asked me to be in my life because I give the best gifts. In fact, I think some people are in my life in spite of it.
Happy Holidays! Gift yourself this year. Give your love language to people, and if that is gift giving, fantastic, but if it is quality time, do it. If it is touch, just be careful with whom you're sharing that one.
I will give mine with quality time, words of affirmation and lots and lots of hugs.