A guide for choosing Christmas gifts using love languages

Last year around this time, I was 9 (or 100, it sure felt like it was 100) months pregnant and my husband and I were fully prepared to have a newborn for Christmas. Little did we know, he wanted to wait until his due date passed, so he was born in 2017. This is our first year as parents, and so much has changed; that includes our gifting budget. It’s even changed some of our traditions. Now, we are expected to bring gifts for the other kids at family gatherings. How fun is that? Kidding, we love it. I’m always up for a challenge, so I’m excited for the biggest challenge yet: playing Santa on a shoestring budget!

If you haven’t heard of love languages (read the book by Gary Chapman or google it to take the tests), it’s life-changing. There are five: personal touch, quality time, words of affirmation, gift-giving and acts of service. Knowing someone’s love language is extremely helpful when picking out their Christmas gift – and it’s even more helpful when you’re on a budget! Don’t believe me?

Think of someone who you always have a difficult time buying a present for – someone who stumps you every year. Now, think of their love language. Are they the person who always washes dishes at family functions? Their love language might be “acts of service.” Once you find out someone’s love language, you can learn how to show love in a way they will appreciate and understand! Here are some sample ideas to help you stay on track and within your budget this holiday season!

Personal Touch

My go-to suggestion is a massage or an experience that allows you to physically rely on each other while doing something that pushes you out of your comfort zones. A trip to TreeUmph!, a self-defense class, hiking, paddle boarding, a night out dancing or even dance classes would be so fun. The best part? It doesn’t have to be expensive, find deals online and ask your friends for recommendations!

Acts of Service

If someone has the “acts of service” love language, treat them to something they hate doing! Give them a car wash gift card or wash the car yourself. Surprise them by doing something for them – maybe even something they hate! This is a great thing to get kids to help with!

Quality Time

For the person who loves quality time, make the gift an experience that you can enjoy together! For your best friend, plan a Christmas-themed DIY “Spa Day” where you give them some homemade spa products (there are a ton of recipes online for face masks, beauty scrubs and bath bombs) and watch your favorite movies! Find a fun activity that you might enjoy together – a cheap night out at a local improv or comedy show, a festival, or even a day trip to another town in Florida. There are always local workshops and crafting events happening, so be sure to check Groupon, local newspapers and online calendars.

Words of Affirmation

I’m a “words of affirmation” gal, so for me, this is the easiest one. For Mother’s Day a few years ago, I had my family and my husband’s family write little notes about what we loved about our moms, and I put them in a cute, decorated jar. Super easy, not expensive at all, but the gifts were so well-received because of the effort behind them.


This is my second love language, and if you have this person in your life, congratulations. They are probably the easiest love language to shop for, and the reason for that is fairly obvious – it’s in the name! This love language may seem materialistic, but this person is all about the thought behind the gift. If your gift reminds you of that person, tell them, and that will mean the world.

Gift giving doesn’t have to break the bank. We lose sight of the fact that it really is the thought that counts, and it’s about remembering the reason for the season – celebrating the birth of our amazing Lord & Savior. When you think about it that way, it makes giving a gift a fun experience and puts the light back on the thought-process and the celebration instead of the dollar amount you’ve spent. Wishing you and your families a very Merry Christmas as you spread joy and give the gift of thoughtfulness and love this holiday season!

Do you have any tips and tricks to share? I’d LOVE to hear them! Drop them below!


Let’s be besties & connect!
Kelly Strausbaugh
Let’s be Besties blog
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