The saying “the best things in life are free” can easily be forgotten when it comes to giving gifts and expressing love to people in our life.
The pressure to give expensive gifts has become part of our cultural fabric, but there are other ways you can choose to express your love.
Gifts come in many forms, and some of the best cost little or are free. In fact, sometimes it’s the gifts that come from the heart, including small acts of kindness or love, that can have the biggest impact.
“For better or for worse, the 'little things' in relationships, both good and bad, matter more than we’d like to believe,” write relationship experts Joel Feldman and Kate Feldman. “We know that large, regular doses of kindness offered to our partner make for great connection and intimacy. Continuing to water and feed the garden of our relationship is critical.”
Whether it's for a special occasion or a part of everyday life, it costs you nothing to offer your loved ones more quality time together, thoughtful expressions or gestures, and more touch, such as hugs, massages, or kisses.
“The key to increasing love and passion in your relationship is your ability, as a couple, to bring mindful awareness to all interactions,” according to the Feldmans. “We believe the future of humanity depends upon people skillfully and consciously loving and caring for each other.”
Create a Love List
A simple and thoughtful gift to share with your partner or other loved one is a list that lets them know how much they're appreciated.
Take time to reflect on what you admire about the other person—get specific about the small and big ways this person impacts your life.
Create a list that says, "I love you because...." A general approach might be, “I love you because you are such a great parent.” Try to make it more personal and say something like, “I love you because you tell our kids the best bedtime stories,” or “I love you because you always know what to say when our son needs help.”
You could also create a list of favorite memories you have with your loved one. For example, “Remember on our second date when we laughed so hard we both snorted?”
Part of the fun is to get creative with what kind of list you want to make, how you will share it, and how many items it will include—it could have 10 or 100 or any number special to you and your loved one. You could write it on a beautiful piece of handmade paper, send it one-a-day via text message for a month, or put it on sticky notes throughout the house, under their pillow or on the bathroom mirror.
Share Something of Yourself
Other ways to express your love include taking your partner or loved one to a free cultural event, like music in the park or an open house at a gallery.
Or put your skills to work and knit them a new scarf, make them dinner, troubleshoot something on their computer, or teach them how to salsa dance.
You could also help them with an unfinished project, like cleaning out the basement, fixing a leaky faucet, or reorganizing their work area.
Make them a playlist—the modern equivalent of the mixed tape—of songs they would enjoy or that have special meaning to the two of you.
Or create a list of places you’d like to travel together, then start planning your next trip.
Remember, true abundance is a state of mind, and some of the best gifts come from the heart.
How will you show your loved ones how much you care?
© 2015 Omega Institute for Holistic Studies