Many years ago, probably in some workshop, I came across a book by Gary Chapman called The Five Love Languages. In this book, Chapman says that we express love and receive love differently and that sometimes we “miss” messages from others or even misinterpret communications of affection because we speak in different love languages. The five love languages according to Chapman are:
Words of affirmation
Acts of service
If our love language is different from a person whom we love, we need to understand and try to learn their “language”. It also a good idea to let them know your love language. You can determine your love language online here at Gary Chapman’s website.
Well, in many ways, for me, the commercialization of Christmas is just a way to get us to buy things we don’t need or want and mean very little to us. It is just so easy to grab a gift in a store, pull out a credit card to make a quick purchase. And, often I find myself begging for a “gift list” from loved ones so I won’t feel like I made a purchase that wasn’t wanted or needed. Because of all the commercialism, it matters more to me if the gift is homemade and/or handmade. But I am pretty darn sure my primary love language is not gifts! So this whole Christmas season becomes stressful for me! When I get gifts from people who are good gift givers, I often feel guilty at my lack of ability in this “foreign” language. I feel inadequate and yet at Christmas this gift giving is the traditional love language. Maybe that is why I like Thanksgiving so much: the love language at thanksgiving seems to be quality time and also acts of service.
Anyway, one of my most favorite Christmas stories of all time is The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. Do you remember the end of the story? Here is the ending… for fun, read it out loud:
Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, Was singing! Without any presents at all! He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming! It came! Somehow or other, it came just the same! And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling: How could it be so? “It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags!” ….”Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps … means a little bit more!
I wish everyone a love-filled Christmas… In whatever your primary love language is! And, if us poor creatures who are not “native speakers” of the gift language fail to deliver fully, have mercy on us….and look for our other love languages around you.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas!