Valentine’s Day is over and everyone goes back to their regular lives. But, I can’t help but wonder what is it that makes some people feel compelled to honor holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas. We don’t feel compelled to give gifts on regular days, but on these days I witness people going out of their way to produce gifts for their loved ones. It can even lead people to feel depressed if they can’t provide gifts for the ones they love.
Is it peer pressure? Is it psychological marketing that makes us feel like we have to do this? Or is it love? If it’s love, why don’t we feel the pull to provide gifts on any other day? I think that culture plays a large role in our strong desire to provide gifts. Some of us are motivated by peer pressure. But, I think others are motivated by not wanting to see their loved one to feel left out or unloved. But, there are some people that just enjoy giving gifts. There are people like me who love with gifts and therefore, find joy in days like Valentine’s Day and Christmas.
When I did the test for the 5 love languages, my top language is receiving gifts. But, it clearly says that it’s not about materialism. It is about the thought and the action that goes into the gift. For me, when I give a gift, I am thinking about what will make the person happy. I am racing about to get the “perfect” gift. I wrap it up with the image of them being excited about the gift. And, I am enjoying the time when they are unaware of what they are about to receive. When they open it and they are excited, it’s like a great payoff in joy for me. Then later, when they tell me how they are using the gift and how much they love it, I feel accomplished in expressing my love. When someone gives me a gift, I feel that someone else has gotten to enjoy all of that in giving a gift to me. It makes me feel special that someone would go through all that trouble for me.
For someone like me, giving gift or receiving a gift is an event. It’s not the thing. It’s more of what goes into getting the gift and the thought that someone would take the time out of their busy day to think about me. In relationships, it’s easy to think that the other person knows exactly how you feel without showing them. While the other person may know that you love them, they may not always know how much. It’s to your benefit to show the measure of love in your heart to the people you love. If you leave it to them to figure it out, they may estimate it to be much lower than you realize. What would happen to relationships if we didn’t wait until a holiday to give gifts. What if we gave gifts for no reason other than out of appreciation for the person we love? How would our relationships transform if we showed our love when we felt moved to? How would our partner feel if we reminded them how special they are all the time?
When your spouse’s emotional love tank is full and he feels secure in your love, the whole world looks bright and your spouse will move out to reach his highest potential in life. – Dr. Gary Chapman, 5 Love Languages