Just a quick note. Almost every opposing view on this blog has been "why don't you give it a chance". Since today's blog is definitely not political as such, I'll simply say this: When it comes to human rights, equality for individuals and American values, it can take five minutes to do damage that it may take five years or more to repair. So I am open to serious thought out change where all parties are included in the discussion (remember those other arms of government?) as opposed to a quick executive action that was not thought out, probably unconstitutional, and in terms of it's implementation a cluster******* of epic proportions.
I am a gifter. This morning, I spent my time searching through old jelly jars, thinking that for my groups and family like my sister and sisters in law I would maybe make lavender sugar scrubs for Valentine's Day. Now, I know, many of you are shaking your heads. You figure Valentine's day is only for significant others, or you think that gift giving is not frugal, or you are not in favor of gifts....
I'm one of those crazy folks who celebrates all the holidays. My adult kids will happily tell you about the times I made green eggs and ham for Dr Seuss's birthday. It is who I am. I am a person who expresses affection, love, and friendship by gifting. As a part of most of the major holidays I also give presents or goodies or cookies. Usually when I gift it is small or homemade, but not always. Mostly though, I show appreciting by making stuff and giving it away. Again, it is who I am.
I've learned that different people express affection in different ways. According to Gary Chapman, most of us express love and caring in one of five different ways: Gifts, Time, Touch, Acts of Service, or Words of affirmation and affection. I suspect there is alot of crossover here, and few of us fit one category entirely. The truth is that in addition to being a giver, I am also a toucher. My husband was not a toucher, and expressed his affection through gifts of time and service to me, primarily (Before we had a housekeeper, my working husband cleaned the house from top to bottom every Sunday, even when I was an at home spouse).
Somtimes when you have different love "languages" (I think this happens more often than we know, even with couples or families that are otherwise compatible), gifting can be a confusion, or even cause hurt feelings. My husband never gave me flowers on Valentine's Day. He occasionally got me candy, and sometimes we went out to dinner, but his general way of making my Valentines day was allowing me to choose either a project around the house, or take the kids for the day and let me have the house for myself. In my case, this worked fine. I have no problem whatsoever buying my own flowers.
The confusion, I suspect, arises if one person is absolutely convinced that the only way to show affection is with fifty dollars worth of roses. If that is your relationship then communication would be key. This is also where you come to terms with your own love language as opposed to someone else's. In other words, had flowers been extremely important to me and had I shared it often enough, my husband would have purchased me flowers at the drop of a hat.
It goes without saying, I imagine, that some of your are thinking "please don't give me something else that I have to donate/regift/whatever". That would defeat my purpose of giving as an expression of love. So, if I have a sister who is allergic to scent (and I do), she most surely is not getting scented sugar rub for her bath or shower.
On the other hand, gifting is about letting go. Since for me the joy is in the gifting/making, once the gift is given, it belongs to that person. He or she can use it, gift it, whatever works. If you let the dog sleep on the handmade quilt once I have given it to you, so be it. It was never meant to hang on the wall anyway. By the same token, I feel pretty sure that my handmade sugar cookies and lavender body sugars will be a hit most of the way around. But if someone uses what I give for someone else, or puts it aside, that's mainly okay. On the one hand I want to make something enjoyed or appreciated, but on the other hand, I got enjoyment and more from putting together the gift, ya know?
So tomorrow, I am going down to my senator's office (the senator who says that his phones crashed because of outside agitators and "people from California"). I'm also going to be baking and freezing some of those heart shaped cookies, working on a heart quilt (for me) and gatherng together my cute little cloth bags to put things in.
Because not only is making and giving an expression of love, these days it's a stress reliever and uplifting-both of which I definitely, desperately need.
Are you a giver? How do you express affection? Are other family members on the same page??