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5 Tips to Get More Out of Gift Week

This is gift week for anyone who observes Christmas or Hanukkah. Time to give gifts and receive gifts. It is a week filled with joy, annoyance, and outrage.

It is the thought that counts, sort of. The problem lies in whose thought counts. Recipients invent a story about the giver's thoughts. If you are a recipient, and if your spouse is the giver, you might want to prepare yourself to Assume Love if you feel at all disappointed with your gift.

  • If your Love Language is gifts, try to remember that artful gift wrapping is an acquired talent. It adds to a relationship, but so can lots of other talents you probably excuse yourself from mastering. Your mate can love you and still wrap a gift in a wad of white tissue paper with a ribbon around it.

  • Try not to guess how big an effort shopping was. Shopping time may be part of your gift if your Love Language is acts of service, but to someone focused on quality time together or physical touch, more time shopping means less time loving.

  • If you spend any time at all on whether the gift required any thought, spend it looking for ways this gift is perfect for you. You might discover parts of yourself that delight your spouse, even if they seem unextraordinary to you.

  • If you lean toward the tangible side of gift-giving, listen carefully for words of affirmation from a mate whose Love Language places these way above blenders and Snuggies®.

  • In the past, unusual gifts may have seemed more thoughtful than a gift you could pick up at your nearest gift shop. Not so true any more, with all of the internet at our fingertips.

Do yourself a favor. Avoid any overall evaluation of any gifts you receive. Instead, look at each one with an eye toward the good things it reflects about the giver and your relationship. Each one you find will add to your own joy and to the love you reflect back to your husband or wife.

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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