Melissa Schmalenberger, Areavoices blogger, Published May 11 2012
Areavoices | Ms. Simplicity asks, 'What gifts mean the most to you?'
I come from a family of stoic German folk where we didn’t show affection and say things like “I love you.” But even though those are just words, depending on who is saying them can make a difference. Maybe it is publicly writing to my mom “I love you”, knowing that these words are going to published in the state’s largest paper on Mother’s Day (Happy Mother’s Day mom…I love you!). Maybe it is making sure before I hang up the phone or say good bye to someone I love, to make sure I say the words, “I love you”or give a great hug. My friend Laura calls a true hug one in which our hearts physically touch as we embrace. That is a gift.
You see, we all give and receive love in different ways. I don’t need the blue Tiffany’s box. But take time out of your busy work schedule and spend an afternoon with me, that is a gift that has no price. You can give a gift by picking up the phone and calling or texting the person to let them know that you were thinking of them. Love could be opening the car door for someone unexpectedly. My kids love for me to bake cookies for them so even though I don’t have the time to make them, I find the time to do it as I know how much it means to them. I use to think my husband liked coming home to a clean house but when the kids were little he told me, just spend time playing and reading to them, the house can be messy. That was the best gift of love he ever could have given our boys.
Maybe you are struggling with trying to have the picture perfect home out of a Pottery Barn catalog. Guess what? Nobody lives like that. If that is something for you to strive towards, that is great but make sure that you are not sacrificing anything in the meantime. Make sure that you have created a house where you can have last minute company over. Make sure you have a home where your friends and family want to come and take shelter from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Don’t apologize for the dust bunnies as long as you are living a full life and enjoying every minute. A gift doesn’t have to come wrapped in a box and have a hefty price tag in order to show that you love someone. Think of ways to show love that don’t cost a dime and don’t add to clutter but is still beyond priceless.
To find out more about how people give and receive love I have found Gary Chapman’s and Ross Campbell’s book “The Five Love Languages of Children” to be very helpful.