Christmas shopping season will soon be in full swing. The arrival of this time of year means moms often spend lots of time searching for the ideal gifts for her kids—and husbands—whether they snatch them up at a local store or click their way around to shop online.
Presenting a family member with a gift—Christmas, birthday, or “just because”—is a great way to show love. However, sometimes what is needed more is the gift of our words.
Here are some ways to use your words—whether they are spoken, handwritten, texted, or posted—to show love to one of your clan this holiday season.
■ Stick ’em up.
Once they are asleep, place a sticky note where they are sure to spot it first thing in the morning that says, “Just in case you were wondering, I’m glad you’re my ________” (fill in the blank with son, daughter, or husband).
■ Mess up a mirror.
Grab a tube of lipstick or a wax pencil and scrawl out a message of encouragement on an important day for them. Perhaps your husband has a performance review at work or your child has an exam or audition later that day. Finish the statement with “I am praying for you.” Then set an alarm on your phone so you remember to pray.
■ Type out a text.
Grab your phone and type out a text to a family member—whether near or far away—telling them you are thinking of them and hoping they are having a great day. Be sure to use lots of emojis! This is a simple way to show love that takes less than a minute from your day but might just make theirs.
■ Pack their lunch with love and lyrics.
If someone in your family carries a lunch to school or work, tuck in a little note with some song lyrics to brighten their day. Doodle on it a bit, adding musical notes, hearts, or smiley faces. Some ideas are: “You are the sunshine of my life” “We are family. Get up everybody and sing!” for one of your kids or “I can’t help falling in love with you,” “I think I love you,” or “Love will keep us together” for your spouse. You can even write it on the side of their banana with a ball point pen. So fun!
■ Resurrect the lost art of letter writing.
Pull out a pen and write a short letter to a family member expressing your love and appreciation for them. Including a fond or funny memory will especially make them smile. People love discovering handwritten, old-fashioned sentiments in their mailbox. Or, if they live with you, place it on their pillow along with a little treat of candy, nuts, or trail mix for them to find when they turn in for the night.
■ Prepare a post.
Hop on their Facebook page and craft a post that reads “The Top 10 Things I Appreciate about You.” Think of ten characteristics and skills you love about your family member. Are they unselfish, always thinking of others first? Do they bake a mean banana bread or grill the best marinated chicken ever? Are they always quick with a crazy joke to brighten your day or to offer godly wisdom when you ask? Come up with ten things you most appreciate about them. Then don’t keep it to yourself. Tell them—and all who will spy it on Facebook.
■ Play “One Thing.”
You may want to adopt this practice we have in our family. Sometimes we will gather in the living room for an informal time. Then we take turns going around the room, mentioning “one thing” we appreciate about each other member of the family.
Mom might tell a child how much she appreciates the effort that the child has been putting forth in a difficult class at school. A sibling might say to his brother or sister how he appreciates being able to borrow a prized possession or play with a favorite toy. Or he might point out how that person always pulls for the underdog or includes the lonely. A wife might thank her husband for the way he prays for his family every day. Playing “One Thing” helps get the conversation going as your family verbally praises each other for the character qualities they see.
Make it a point to use your words to give the gift of love and encouragement to your gang this week. Happy chatting!
Karen Ehman, KarenEhman.com