I have to work so hard at gift giving.
My love language is words of affirmation, and I can typically cross over into three of the other four – quality time, physical touch and acts of service.
But gifts? Not so much. In fact, not so much at all.
And, let me tell you. I can get really put out about that.
More Blessed to Give
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Acts 20:35
I love to receive a thoughtful gift. However, when it’s my turn to do the giving, I invariably find myself overthinking the whole thing.
When someone’s birthday is approaching, I see it on the calendar and actually get a teeny panic attack. I ask myself over and over what I should get them.
Of course, I might have grand ideas and good intentions as I look at gift baskets on Pinterest, but then I have to decide what to put in the thing.
And that’s when I go into a big ol’ Texas-sized mental lock-down.
Some Gifts are Easy to Give
Wedding gifts are a little easier for me to buy, because the couple has registered for specific things they want to receive. Even so, I’ve already slightly started over-thinking the gift I’ll be buying in a couple of weeks for a bridal shower.
Typically, I can write cards and letters all day long. I thoroughly enjoy telling people how much I love them, appreciate them and admire them.
And truthfully, it seems so easy to speak my love language. Extolling the virtues of others. Being generous with compliments.
But when it comes to purchasing a gift?
Well, okay. No need for me to beating that dead horse, right?
Gifts just aren’t my love language.
The Struggle is Real
What would make this much simpler is if I could just come up with a “signature” gift for every occasion.
A nicely organized list would hold that information. It could be stored in the Notes app of my phone, easily accessible. Always at the ready.
So-and-so is getting married, you say? Click, click, click. Bah-da-boom-bah-da-bing. Her monogrammed pie cutter is on its way!
What a beautiful dream come true that would be.
But, honestly, before I get to the Complete Your Order screen, I start wondering if So-and-So even likes pie? What if pie baking is completely out of style now?
And silver? What if the pie cutter needs to be polished every so often, and instead of remembering me with fondness, the bride associates me with a gift that keeps on giving her extra work to do?
Did you know that Paul is quoting Jesus in this scripture about giving being better than receiving, but it’s not recorded in any one of the four gospels?
Bible scholars have even dubbed this verse “the lost beatitude”, because it’s not part of the list Jesus gives of other “blessed are” things in the sermon on the mount.
Maybe Matthew, Mark, Luke and John struggled with gift giving, too, and they skimmed over that part. (OK, that’s a stretch, I know.)
But here’s the thing. Jesus said it. Paul lived it. And even though it doesn’t come as easy for me as writing a note, I need to work at being a better giver.
So, what do I do? What’s the solution to this bumfuzzling conundrum?
I just copy.
That’s right. I’m a big, fat gift-giving-plagiarist.
If someone gives me a super cute butter dish from the new Pioneer Woman collection (someone did), someone else is about to get the very same thing from me.
If every once in a while, I strike it rich and come up with something on my own, then yay!
Recently, the attorneys I work for were discussing pocket squares. Guess what I gave them for Bosses Day?
I was so proud of myself for remembering that whole conversation, and, not gonna lie (another little conversational nugget you need to use with the millennials in your life), it was a little thrilling to shop for and give those purple paisley silky statement makers.
Also, when my newlywed daughter told me she and her new hubby really liked the H-E-B gift card they got as a wedding gift, I filed that information away under the category “gifts to copy” in my little brain.
A Universal Love Language
Love languages are important to know. My hubby speaks mine very well.
But when you think about it, in the same way that music speaks to every soul, a gift touches every heart.
Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Birthdays are highlighted on my calendar and yours, and goodness, Christmas is always right around the corner.
In the meantime, I’m thinking of somebody in my circle who is experiencing a crisis. Someone you know may be concerned about a wayward child, and we probably both have friends who had a hard day at work.
Could he or she be blessed by a gift today?
I, for one, should stop right here before I overthink that and send a fancy candle.
Oh, wait. What if that person is sensitive to fragrance or would rather have something fun to eat??
There it is! I’ll send a card to H-E-B!
Feel free to copy me.
Encouraging a life filled with everyday intentional adventure as we become those who are more blessed by giving,
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