a guide to self-gifting (or for forwarding to your significant other)
because you are worth it!
Hi there mom, aunts and design lovers!
I have heard much chatter about Love Languages for the past couple of years, but it wasn’t until a recent spa day with a friend that I finally looked into it more intently.
For the uninitiated, a love language is the idea that there are different ways in which we show and receive affection, and understanding how you authentically offer love as well as feel satisfied by how you receive it can help you to better navigate relationships. According to the book where it all originated, there are five main expressions of love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. I had always assumed one of my top ones had to be Receiving Gifts, since I take great pride in showing affection by spending questionable amounts of time researching, comparing, ideating and crafting tokens of my love—as evidenced by this newsletter. Likewise, I love being surprised with little souvenirs. Like when my husband shows up with chocolate or a friend sends me a song that made them think of me.
A good gift reflects a piece of history in a relationship. It should stem from a conversation, a memory shared, a moment in life, a wish whispered.
So after finally reading the aforementioned book and taking the online quiz, it turns out Receiving Gifts is actually third on my list of love language priorities percentage-wise. Still, years of pouring myself into the gifts I craft for others and feeling deflated by some of the things I’ve gotten, have compelled me to write down some principles that I find important about giving thoughtfully. Today I’ll be sharing those with you, as I believe a good present can many times spark a new sense of appreciation and mutual understanding in relationships.
The Three Gifting Principles:
A Good Gift is Personal: the object, experience, token should be for the recipient and the recipient only. Gifts should not be for communal use (aka a gift “for the house”) unless specifically asked for. If you are buying for yourself, resist the urge to buy something “useful.” Make it indulgent.
A Good Gift is Meaningful: even if you don’t know someone well, you should always relate a gift back to past interactions. It’s important that the act of gifting links to the person on the receiving end. Ask yourself: What do they do? What was the last conversation you had together? Do you share a hobby, interest, passion? Did they mention something they liked about your lifestyle and wish they could do too? These questions are in many instances the base of a meaningful relationship. It’s what you have learned about each other and your compass to give something significant to one another.
A Good Gift is Unexpected: this one is simple, just like the marketing principle—a good gift should surprise and delight. Giving the same gift every year does not show much thoughtfulness. Unless it is a tradition, an inside joke or a formality—like for a colleague (and you’re sending them a bottle of wine like last year). When defaulting to the usual, take a minute to think about the other 2 principles and you’ll surely come up with something different.
All these propositions apply especially to oneself. As parents, we are often looking after everyone else: caring about how we can make the holidays magical for our kids, how best we can fulfill their needs and wishes, remembering to move the damn elf every night, and many other self-imposed duties. So here it is! The sign you were hoping for: this is your friendly reminder to treat you. Remember that we must fill our cup first, so we can share it with others.
So without further ado, below are some ideas to gift a mama this season (yourself included). And if someone forwarded you this email—you know what to do.
1. High CBD Formula Heavy Duty Chill Balm / 2. Maude Vibe / 3. J Hannah Form Inlay Ring I / 4. Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream / 5. Byredo Gypsy Water / 6. Casa Bosques Tahini and Preserved Lemon Dark Chocolate / 7. Moon Lists: Questions and Rituals for Self-Reflection / 8. Stand Studio Lola Bag Sherpa / 9. Journelle Bette Sleepshirt / 10. Lingua Franca "women rising" sweater / 11. Completed Works Gold Vermeil Earrings / 12. Crown Affair The Holiday Set / 13. Food52 x Le Bon Garcon Genius Desserts Caramel Tower / 14. Monica Sordo Nautilus Ear-Fans / 15. Susanne Kaufmann Oil Bath for the Senses
Lastly, never underestimate the power of an experience—a facial, that writing class you have been wanting to take, a solo night at a chic hotel, a massage, concert tickets. Do that thing you have been yearning to. You deserve it!
I hope today’s newsletter has inspired you to invest a bit in yourself and to share the joy of a good gift with others.
I will be taking a holiday break for the next 2 weeks and will be back in January with exciting content.
🎄🎄🎄Happy holidays everyone! 🎄🎄🎄