Do you ever feel like your spouse or other loved ones in your life are the most difficult to people to purchase gifts for? I used to listen carefully all year long and make a note any time Joe mentioned anything that he wanted. I even have a secret Pinterest board filled with ideas he’s given me or things that I’ve seen online and think he’d love. Sometimes I'd get him a gift that I thought he'd enjoy only to be disappointed that he wasn't as excited by it as I thought he would be. I don't remember when it happened, but one day I started thinking about gifts that I could give based on his love languages and ever since, I've never lacked for ideas.
Your spouse’s love language doesn’t have to be “gifts” in order for them to love receiving a present from you. The great thing about using someone's love language to pick out a gift is that it lets them know that you care about them and know who they really are. I like to try and get my husband one thing for each love language, even if it's just something small. My main gift is usually focused on his top love language but I work really hard to hit them all in a way that I know he'll appreciate. It's so hard for me to wait to give gifts because I'm so excited by what I got for someone!
Whether you’re planning for a birthday, anniversary, Christmas and other special occasion that warrants a gift, think about your spouse's love language! I've got some ideas for each love language below to help get you started. You can apply this concept to everyone in your life, not just your spouse, but this list is mostly spouse focused.
Use Your Spouse’s Love Language to Pick the Perfect Gift
Words of Affirmation Gift Ideas
Write a love letter - Make it sappy, memory filled and praise your spouse for who they are as a person and their accomplishments. Put your letter in their stocking, give it to them on their birthday or leave it on their pillow or somewhere else that they'll find it.
Make a book of your love story - For Valentine’s Day one year, I created a storybook of our dating time using excerpts from my journal and feelings that I remember having. We also love our Promptly Journal and I think it makes a great gift that you can work through together. You could also create a scrapbook with mini journal entries next to it for each year of your marriage. It would make a great gift for your anniversary each year, Christmas after each year of marriage or for Valentine’s day after you’ve finished it up from the calendar year before.
Put together a playlist for them - This was the thing when I was in high school. It was the best thing ever to get a Mix CD from the person you were dating! Make your spouse a playlist filled with songs that remind you of them. Love songs, songs that you think would be the soundtrack of their life, etc. You can create the playlist on Spotify and send them the link to listen to. Or go old school and burn your playlist to a CD, write all over the top with permanent marker and pop it into the CD player in their car for them to find the next time they’re driving to work or to run errands.
A million reasons you love them - I love the gift ideas that float around the internet that encourage you to share a number of reasons that you love your spouse. I think this is a fun gift idea, especially for spouse’s whose love language is Words of Affirmation. You can tie reasons you love your spouse to the end of as many balloons as they are old, text them 14 reasons you love them throughout the day on Valentine’s Day, create a photo album filled with your favorite pictures of the two of you and a reason you love them next to each one, or glue all of the reasons you love them to the wrapper of their favorite treats.
Receiving Gifts Gift Ideas
Something they've been wanting to buy - This is where keeping a list of things that your spouse mentions wanting throughout the year comes in handy. I have a secret Pinterest board and a secret Amazon wish list filled with ideas for Joe. I've also started one for my kids and add things that I know they'd love based on their current interests.
Hint: Create your own wish list on Pinterest. I have a board where I pin things that I want and I share that link with Joe when he asks what I want for my birthday or Christmas. My sister-in-law shops from that wish list and I reward myself for reaching a goal with little items from the list as well. I just delete items any time I purchase or receive them.
Money toward something they want - We’re currently saving for a new smoker, so ever special occasion I put a little cash in an envelope with a picture of the smoker on the front. I’ve also given him a gift card to the store where we plan to purchase our smoker. I just like to make sure that he knows what the money is for so it is more meaningful than random cash. (Not that anyone’s going to complain about cash.)
Flowers - Husbands, I can tell you that there is nothing that would make your wife happier than receiving a flower delivery at work or at home while you're at work. She'd also love a bouquet hand delivered by you at the end of the day! Joe purchases flowers for my flower bed eacj year for mother's day and I love it because they lasted all summer long.
A gift card to their favorite store - Maybe you know your spouse would like something nice for themselves but you aren't quite sure what to get. A gift card to their favorite clothing, home decor, sporting goods or other store is perfect!
Acts of Service Gift Ideas
Get someone to clean the house - Someone once asked me if his wife would be offended if he bought a gift certificate to have someone clean her house. This would be my ultimate gift, so I told him no. Cleaning the house relieves stress for me, but having a messy house causes stress. With a full time job and two kiddos, my life is busy and a lot of times, the deep cleaning is something that doesn't happen as regularly as I'd like.
Tip: You could also have their car detailed or finally clean that one area in the house that they’ve been bugging you about forever.
Coupons to have you do something for them - What's one thing that you know your spouse hates to do or appreciates when you do for them? Deep cleaning the car, cleaning out the garage, taking care of the grocery shopping, etc. Put together a cute coupon letting them know that you will take care of that thing for them when they redeem their coupon.
Do something special for them - I didn't know how else to explain this one. Example: I love having a beautiful flowerbed but I hate planting and caring for the plants. For Mother's Day each year, I mentioned that Joe buys flowers for me. He also plants them, waters them every night and pulls weeds. We get wave petunias because they grow to take up the entire bed and they last from April through the end of October when we pulled them up.
Knock something off of their to do list - One year for my birthday, Joe painted an accent wall for me. We went out together to pick the color and then I sat on the couch and observed while he taped, painted multiple coats and cleaned up. When looking at your spouse’s to do list, try to pick something that they’d not only appreciate having done, but something that they’ll enjoy as well. Fixing a leaky faucet might not be nearly as fun as putting together the new headboard that they purchased a few months ago.
Physical Touch Gift Ideas
A massage - You could get a gift card or give them a massage yourself. Foot massage, head massage, or full body massage.
Other spa services - Pedicure, manicure, facial, etc. You can get a gift card to a local spa or set up a spa in your own home if you’re on a budget.
Bath bomb - Gift them a bath bomb and then draw a bath and provide them with an opportunity to use it one night. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb into the tub and join them. We love bath bombs from Lush, if you have a store near you, because their bombs are large and luxurious and fun and come in a wide variety of scents.
Love coupons - Create a bunch of love coupons for things that you know your spouse would appreciate and love to cash in on. Some ideas might include; head massage, back scratch, romantic bath, full night of cuddling, or anything else that you know your physical touch spouse enjoys.
Quality Time Gift Ideas
Date night - Whether getting out for date night comes easy or rarely happens, it's a great gift and a great opportunity to connect! You could give your spouse a simple gift card to one of your favorite restaurants, purchase tickets to a play, musical or concert, or plan and pay for a day date or an extravagant night out. Get creative and plan something that you know the two of you will enjoy, maybe even something from your date night bucket list!
A night away - Getting away for the night or a weekend is one of mine and Joe's favorite things to do. We always come back a million times more in love and our relationship feels so refreshed. For Christmas this year, I plan on giving him a gift card to our favorite getaway location, along with a collage of pictures of what I have in mind for us to do all weekend. With two little ones, we look forward to that time away and having one planned will give us something to look forward to, even if it's a few months away.
Participate in their hobby - Is there something that your spouse loves to do and would love you to do with them but you might not enjoy or do often? Maybe they’d love it if you joined them and played video games all night while eating $5 pizza and wings. Or maybe your spouse loves musicals so you purchase tickets to their favorite show that’s coming to a theater near you. You could attend a live sporting event, spend the night cooking with them, or treat them to a meal at their favorite restaurant.
Plan an all day date - Whenever anyone asks me what I want to do for my birthday, I automatically think how nice it would be to spend the entire day with my husband. He’s my favorite person and as much as I love spending time with our kids and our family, there’s nobody that I love spending time with more than him. I would love an entire day planned to do all of our favorite things and relax together. Sleep in, go to brunch, see a movie, take a nap, grab a late lunch, do something fun, grill dinner, go on a late night walk and eat dessert in bed while watching our Netflix favorite. That would be a perfect gift/day for me!
Your spouse doesn't have to be a receiving gifts person to enjoy receiving a gift from you. Just keep the love languages in mind and you'll be able to find something to gift your spouse that they'll love and remember for years to come.
What would you add to these lists that you know your spouse would enjoy receiving based on their love language?
Photography by Sadie Banks Photography