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Abstinence and gift giving

Young man giving flowers to his girlfriend outdoor.Image is intentionally toned.This article is part of a series called Abstinence and the love languages.

Fluency in Gift Giving doesn’t have to be expensive. After all, for the person who communicates and receives love through gift, it’s not about the item as much as the sentiment behind it. There’s nothing wrong with a little splurge every once in a while, but for this person, a coin-machine ring can speak more than the real thing.

Here are just a few practical gift suggestions that can help convince your spouse that (s)he is a gift to you:

  • Set up a treasure hunt in your house. Leave little notes and clues in important places that lead to a final bouquet of flowers or a special treat.
  • Wrap a ribbon around that dandelion you found by the driveway and give it to her
  • Grab his favorite candy bar on your way out of the store
  • Each night before bed, write a one-page love letter to your spouse in a notebook. When it’s totally filled up, wrap it in paper and present it to her.
  • Track down the first edition of her favorite book and get it signed by the author. If the author’s not still living, get it leather-bound to make it extra fancy.
  • Borrow art supplies from your kids and make a creative depiction of a place that’s special to both of you. It’ll be even more endearing if art isn’t your strong suit.
  • Have her favorite meal ready for her when she gets home
  • Get your own personalized book published about why you love him
  • Write a simple love poem and decorate the paper (starting with a haiku may help)
  • Find out where she’d most like to travel and surprise her with tickets for a weekend getaway
  • Pick up a yearly planner and write something you admire about your spouse at the top of each page. Wrap it nicely and present it at the beginning of the year.
  • Fill out one of these books and give it to him
  • Make her cookies and put them in a special box (if it’s a good temperature, leave them on the passenger seat of her car for her to find before work)
  • Make a greeting card and mail it to his office for him to receive at work
  • Have her coffee ready to go in the morning
  • Splurge on a meaningful gift idea like this, this, this, or this.
  • When you get up to grab a movie snack for yourself, grab one for him too
  • Plant a special tree or bush in her honor, have a priest bless it
  • Work with your kids to write down and illustrate all the reasons you love him. Bind it into a book with ribbons and present it to him.
  • Make a point to win your spouse a carnival prize at the parish picnic
  • Bring home “souvenirs” from places you go without her, whether it’s a real souvenir from your business trip or a smooth stone from your walk in the park
  • Instead of buying him candy, try your hand at making it
  • Take her car and fill up her tank
  • Is there anything he’s mentioned needing lately? Use your personal savings to get it for him.
  • Give her a family heirloom that means a lot to you
  • Frame his favorite picture of the two of you
  • Every day for a month, email or text her an uplifting quote, silly picture, or sweet memory
  • Tight on storage space? Spend money gifting experiences instead.
  • Make a big deal out of birthdays, anniversaries and milestones. This doesn’t mean spending a lot of money, but putting a lot of effort into planning details that will show you’re thinking of him
  • Take an art class together, and give your artwork to her — no matter how mangled it may be

What about the other love languages? Click here.

— Forest Hempen
Marketing and Communications Associate