Just when we all thought we understood Valentine’s Day as the International Day of Romantic Love, along came Leslie Knope, our favorite Deputy Director of Parks and Rec, and made the holiday of affection a lot more fun by adding the concept of Galentine’s Day.
Traditionally observed on February 13th, this holiday is all about “Ladies celebratin’ ladies.” What I love about this emerging holiday, other than its origin in one of my all-time favorite shows, is that it’s focused on friendship. We celebrate parental love on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and romantic love on Valentine’s day, so why not some friendship love on Galentine’s Day?
If you’re lucky enough to have a number you’d call to help bury the body, someone who will tell you when you’re taking the boy brow trend too far, or who has posed as a reference for every application you’ve ever filled, well my dear, you really ought to celebrate them this Galentine’s Day. Here are a few ways we can celebrate our besties this Galentine’s day.
Just Say Thank You
Life is less overwhelming when you can outsource a little of your joy, pain, confusion, or achievement to a trusted friend—and while being that trusted friend in return takes time and energy—it imbues our lives with rich meaning. These friendships aren’t simply worth cultivating, they are worth celebrating. So this February 13th, let’s do it!
Thank your mentor, your sibling, your partner-in-crime, and your texting-pen pal by showering them with a little extra love. It could be as simple as a text, a surprise gift in the mail, or dinner dropped off at their doorstep, but take a little time on Galentine’s to let the people in your life know how much you care.
Pod Up at an Old-Fashioned Slumber Party
Maybe you’ve been lucky enough to pod up with some of your favorite people—so if that’s the case, send the spouses (with the children, of course) down to the basement, open a bottle of wine, and enjoy a good old-fashioned night-in with snacks, at-home beauty treatments, and your favorite music and movies. Who said slumber parties ended when we graduated high school? The only difference is that now we’re adults who can drink whatever we like.
If you’re not quite ready to meet up in person, we’ve all mastered the Xoom meeting, right? I know it’s lame, but honestly, just knowing our friends want to sit with us, and chat while we paint our toenails, and laugh about nothing means the world and staves off the loneliness. The key here is that your partner has to keep the kids away, so you can actually focus on each other.
Whip Up a Masterpiece
If you’re the active type who doesn’t find just sitting around with wine and Netflix all that appealing, you could also consider finding a recipe to make and eat it with your friend(s) over zoom. The real issue with teleconferencing can be the awkward silences and desperate conversation starters, but creating the same meal at the same time and laughing through your successes and failures in tandem, is nothing if not a topic of conversation. You could also make the theme of the evening a delicious desert that of course, you then get to enjoy. Win-win.
Let’s Get Crafty
Another great virtual Galentine’s celebration is a virtual Sip `n Paint party. Have everyone buy some simple art supplies off Amazon and fire up a video to follow along to create the next Mona Lisa. There are companies that offer this service for everyone to follow the same instructions, or you could decide on a different kind of craft together. The point is simply to have fun together!
Choose Your Valentine
Don’t worry, I’m not basing all of my suggestions in the same software your boss keeps pushing. Instead, choose one of your girlfriends as your Valentine this year and celebrate her in a way that will bring a smile to her face—send a bouquet, a gift basket, or an e-gift card that solves their “What’s for dinner?” woes. After all, we all love being reminded that someone out there is thinking of us and cherishing our existence.
Because in the end, that’s what Galentine’s day is all about—taking time out to thank our friends for their support, their humor, their wisdom, their sob-soaked shoulders, their gigantic hearts, and all the love that flows between us.
COVID has taken so many things, but for the love of Leslie Knope, we can’t let it take that.
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Reviewed by Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN…