The Gift of Quality Time


Back in 1995, Dr. Gary Chapmen published a book called The Five Love Languages that was designed to help individuals and couples decode the secret to falling and staying in love. He believes that every person has one primary and one secondary love language and theorizes that people tend to give their love in the same way they prefer to receive love.

Even if our wants and needs change throughout our lives, our fundamental desires seem to stay inherent, decoded by either words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and/or physical touch.

The retail hustle and bustle of the holiday season can trick us into thinking ‘receiving gifts’ is everyone’s primary communication, however, let’s not forget that there are four other very important packages we can give our loved ones.

When I think of the best gift I ever received growing up, it wasn’t a birthday or Christmas present wrapped beneath the tree, but the intangible gift of happiness and joy I received from quality time made and spend with my family and friends. These moments are my most treasured possessions, made redeemable throughout my life by the transactions of grace and gratitude.

Neighborhood Ice Cream Trips

Every time it was one of the neighborhood kid’s birthdays, my Father would pile us all into the van and take the whole ‘gang’ out for ice cream cones. The birthday kid always got an extra scoop and as you can see this became a very popular tradition.

Bike Rides to The Beach

My parents took off my training wheels off when I was only three years old, challenging me to overcome my fears and teaching me that I could do anything I put my mind to. We still enjoy riding bikes and yes, that is a pet bunny rabbit in my bike basket.

Crabbing on Kiawah

My sister and I were taught the skills of team work and patience while spending hours down at the docks pulling up crabs that we would later take home for the family to enjoy for dinner.

Treasure hunts

My uncle was usually the mastermind behind most of these elaborate treasure hunts, trekking our cousins through the woods in search of lost treasure, beaches for hidden coins, or in this picture ‘real’ gold!


As we get older, our friends become just as important people in our lives so taking time to celebrate each other’s birthdays and shared holidays has become a special way to express appreciation for their harmonious love and support.


About Aly Murphy

Aly Murphy is an international etiquette consultant based in Charleston, SC. She previously lived in Manhattan while she studied the history, social psychology and neuroscience...

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