According to Webster, charm is to “delight greatly,” and I love that the meaning of this month’s editorial theme can apply to relationships, friendships, kind gestures to strangers or colleagues, and so much more.

Show of hands for anyone that’s taken the 5 Love Languages Quiz? This is such a great way to keep relationship expectations open and clear. Plus, it feels good to know how your partner likes to give and receive love.

For instance, I don’t love to receive gifts (for the most part.) But coming home to a super clean home with fresh linens and my favorite cold brew in the fridge after 2 weeks on the road warms my heart. According to this quiz (and me), the way I like to receive love toggles between Acts of Service and Quality Time, and the way I like to give love is Acts of Service with the occasional gift purchase if I see something that I know would light my partner up.

This had me reflecting on the most charming thing someone’s ever done for me according to my love language, and a few came to mind. Last spring, I visited my friend Annie in Nashville just after my birthday and the start of a new job. Annie knows how much I love trying new restaurants, so she took me to a truly amazing place, and treated me to dinner no less. The restaurant, Tailor, went on to become Bon Appetit’s Top 10 best new restaurants of 2019 so it made it even more special for me.

Another friend, Christine in Minneapolis called my all-time favorite restaurant in Austin and purchased a gift card, then had it mailed to me to congratulate me for the new job. This was a total surprise as she’s never been, but clearly watches all of my Instagram videos where I post about how much I love the place. And lastly, I love how often charm shows up in dating. In my dating profile, I share how much I love a Negroni with one large ice cube. Early into a recent relationship, the guy I was seeing had me over to his place for dinner and when I walked in, he had a Negroni (with one large ice cube) waiting for me. It was so sweet and thoughtful, and definitely secured another date.

This had me curious about how charm showed up in my friends’ lives, so I polled a few and asked: what’s the most charming thing anyone’s done for you, or that brings you great pleasure to do for others? Reading these reminds me that it’s truly the small things in life that mean the most, and we can find any moment to be charming if we choose to see it that way.

“Coming home from a work trip to a clean apartment, flowers and chocolate from my boyfriend is the most charming thing someone has ever done for me. This small but charming gesture makes my day and reminds me that even if my flights get delayed or cancel, James has got my back.” — Gustavo Padron, Group Fitness Instructor

“I find it charming that the universe always reminds me to be more specific with what I want. So much so, that I’ve tattooed the words ‘touché’ & ‘blessed’ on my arms. A humorous, yet gentle reminder that I’m worth so much more than I can imagine.” — Ashley M. Kelsch, Coaching for Modern Renegades

“File it under the “you really shouldn’t have” category, but my wife’s company puts on an organization-wide retreat in an offsite location every year–for about 5 years now. The first one was in Austin (where we live), so I happened to attend. Five years later–from Sedona, AZ to Jacksonville, FL–they have been covering my food, housing, and entertainment costs as if I were one of their full time employees! It’s amazing how much they go out of their way to make me feel like part of the family every year.” — Walt Kresa, Senior Client Success Manager, Storable

“My mother does a lot of things that delight me greatly, and that I know bring her great delight! Most recently I was away for work for about a month.

Anticipating my arrival home my mom had my house cleaned. She also had fresh flowers and homemade banana bread waiting for me. These thoughtful and love-filled gestures brought me so much joy. What made it extra special is that she didn’t do what she wanted to do for me, she did what she knew would make me happy.”

Sarah Hernholm, Founder/President of WIT – Whatever It Takes

“At Jenny Dawn Cellars, our motto is, let your moment begin. I thoroughly enjoy charming and delighting my customers by pouring a delicious and refreshing glass of our wine. Body language never lies so see exuberance in their facial expressions are moments I will never forget.” — Jennifer McDonald, Founder/CEO and Winemaker of Jenny Dawn Cellars

I’d love to hear in the comments: What’s the most charming thing someone’s ever done for YOU?

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Comments (4)
  1. 1
    Olivia October 21, 2019 at 10:16 am

    For thanksgiving weekend (which just passed here in Canada!), I woke up to my favorite decor/lifestyle magazines on the breakfast table for weekend reading ? A treat from mom!

  2. 2
    Ana October 21, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    Last year, on the Saturday before Halloween, I had to work all day. I came home exhausted and apologetic to my boyfriend about not having time to help get costumes together for a party we were invited to that night. He asked me to check on something in the guest room, and there, splayed out on the bed were homemade costumes for the both of us. He toiled away all day (in secret) making them for us! Everyone loved our costumes (caveman and -woman). It’s a memory that will always hug my heart!

  3. 3
    Toni October 25, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    Some years back I cut my hair from long to very short, and it was a real style adjustment for my husband of many years, who doesn’t mind short hair but not THAT short, and had loved it long. He was sweet about it, but not immediately thrilled with the look…me either. It was a drastic change, not a great cut the first time, and an allergic reaction to some new make-up made my face swell up considerably the same week to boot. NOT the look any 50+ year old woman feels great with.

    The charming part….A week later, in a conversation with some older women in our faith community, he inevitably got asked what he thought of my new ‘do. He told them all with utmost sincerity that I was an amazingly beautiful woman with beautiful hair, and he knew that he was going to love the new look soon when he got used to it. Every one of them was so charmed by his deeply sincere words that they individually came and told me about it! YESSS! That’s my guy! 33 years in 2 months.

  4. 4
    Noelle October 22, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    When distance learning hit in spring, I was struggling. I had to teach my 4th grade class virtually with my young three year old daughter at home. I called my good friend to tell her all my woes. I was staying up till 1, 2 or even 3am several nights a week to get everything done. That day my child had a complete meltdown while I was teaching my fourth graders. So fun. She listened and gave me all the compassion I needed. A few days later an Amazon package arrived filled with glitter markers, reusable stickers, a lap desk and more to help entertain my kiddo while I teach. It meant so much. Plus, my daughter was absorbed in the novel activities during my next lesson!