'Tis the Damn Season - How the Holidays are a celebration of the 5 love languages
It seems fitting that Halloween and Día de Muertos are the opening gates to the holiday season. Days set aside to honor those past before the season that focus on celebrating with your loved ones. In the early 1990s Dr. Gary Chapman wrote a book entitled The Five Love Languages which changed the way we talk about how we receive love and give love to others. It is a conversation that many couples, families, and friendships now discuss as part of the emotional intelligence vernacular. Are you an "acts of service" or a "quality time person"?
The holiday season holds a particularly acute ability to rock us emotionally because it is the culmination of all 5 languages coming together. It is, in short, an annual celebration of love in all of its forms.
1) Acts of service - the holiday season is full of opportunities to "give back". Volunteering skyrockets during this time of year. Thanksgiving (US observed) is still the most volunteered day of the calendar year. People's everyday behavior is modified to spread holiday cheer.
2) Receiving Gifts - it is the season of giving and this love language is in full swing during this time of year. The physical representation of giving to those you love. Finding the right gift for the ones you love is almost turned into a sport of Olympic size.
3) Quality Time - Home for the Holidays. This serves as the inspiration for numerous Holiday movies and songs. Mariah Carey lets us know her love language by hitting the high notes with All I Want to Christmas is You. Being close to those you love is a hallmark of the season...the good and the bad that comes with being in close proximity for long periods of time.
4) Physical Touch - it is almost inevitable with all of the quality time that physical touch would follow in tandem with the holiday cheer. Whether it is a meeting under the mistletoe or the hugs of friends and family this closeness is omnipresent with the holly and the ivy.
5) Words of Affirmation - holiday love seems to be full of these words of affirmation. From the sending of cards to the holiday spirit that propels us to tell those around that we love them less we end up a Grinch!
Embrace the components of this holiday that bring you cheer. If we reframe this season as a celebration of love and all the ways in which we can show that to the people in our life that we value most it may help quell some of the anxiety and expectation that plagues so much of the season. Spread the cheer in any love language that brings you joy and leave the rest.