This weeks topic is ten gifts. I'm choosing non-material gifts. These are all aspects of love: Giving, receiving, sharing and caring.
All the gifts below I learned from this book.
1. Quality Time: The most precious and valuable item in the world. Kids may not like it sometimes, but giving them your time is something they will always remember and cherish. Spending time with your spouse lets them know you love them and they're not taken for granted. Spending time with friends ditto. Giving your time shows you care.
2. Listening: This entails understanding and affirmation. Lets the person who is talking know you care. So much tension arises in relationships because one side or both don't think the other person listens to them or cares what they are saying.
3. Gratitude: The hardest aspect of love is acceptance. It's easy to give, but receiving somehow makes us feel uncomfortable. An unwanted gift from a stranger perhaps with an ulterior motive is a red flag. But a gift from a loved one or friend should be met with thanks, a smile and letting them know how much it means to you. When you give a gift the pay off is the smile on their face when they open it. Even if your kid throws away the expensive toy and play with the box, you made them happy and that makes you happy. Caution, make sure whoever gives you a gift doesn't know if you re-gifted it.
4. Communication: This is more than speaking and listening. Body language and emotions, tone and inflection communicate more than words. You show you care about the other person if you know them.
A crabby wife when you get home from work is a cry for a hug or for you to take time to ask them about their day. Returning crabby with crabby just starts a non-ending argument. If you had a meatgrinder of a day maybe hearing her problems will help you relax and tell her yours.
Then you area sharing instead of fighting.
5. Something unexpected: It doesn't have to cost money. Instead of spending the night watching TV, turn the lights down and listen to music, you've spent a fortune on the cd's or streaming service use it and share the experience. Play cards or a board game, planning something like this kills the effect. Be spontaneous. Make the suggestion if its shot down at least your partner knows you care about him or her to get out of a rut.
6. Take walks together: Don't rely on a gym. Walk around the block with or without your dog. Talk while on the walk. Use the local school's track or a park. If you have kids let them run around and play while your getting exercise. Hey golf is just a long walk spoiled by a little white ball. Play golf or tennis or garden together.
7. Beware of the Dragon: Sometimes caring means knowing when the other person need time and space alone. It's impossible to cuddle all the time. When a person, male and female by the way, need space intruding on it gets them rather fussy. That the dragon at the mouth of the cave they go into to solve a problem. A woman's cave is talking to a friend, usually about you. A man's cave is to sit and brood or take apart and rebuild a motorcycle. Writers stare into the fireplace trying to fill a blank page with words that make sense. This is a sure sign that says, "Don't bug me."
Keep in mind its temporary. If it turns permanent that a huge red flag.