Show your besties––and yourself––some love this February 13th, also known as Galentine’s Day. While this holiday might not have the cultural heft of its better-known successor (that’s Valentine’s Day, which you may have heard of), we’re totally here for it and ready to celebrate any and all happy occasions available.
Just in case you’ve been hiding under a rock, here’s the general rundown: Galentine’s Day began life as a fictional holiday created by the fictional character Leslie Knope on the television show Parks and Recreation back in 2010. In the series, Galentine’s Day involves going to brunch with a ladysquad of colleagues and friends, then showering them with gifts and over-the-top expressions of appreciation. The idea caught fire on (very real) social media and there’s been no looking back; this once-faux holiday has been a “thing” for over a decade now. While you can celebrate it as Leslie intended, with waffles and mimosas galore, there’s plenty of other ways to show your besties how much you care. Here are our 10 top ideas for Galentine’s Day:
The classic. Yes, Galentine’s Day in 2021 will look different than before (thanks ever so much, COVID), but “kickin’ it breakfast-style” will always be the number one G-Day activity. If possible, fire up the old waffle iron, then bring the OJ and champagne onto the porch for a safer type of brunch with your besties. Wear something casual but festive and that won’t constrict your bod if you nibble a little too much frittata. We recommend styles like the free-flowing Red Boho Print Short Dress or the cheery Red and White Polka Dot Plus Size Maxi Dress for an effortless Galentine’s look. Can’t do brunch in-person? Your gang might wanna livestream a brunch cooking class like this one from the privacy of your respective homes for a socially distant change-up.
So what if the holidays aren’t even a distant memory yet. There’s no person we can think of who wouldn’t appreciate a homemade hot cocoa bomb or pink sprinkle-bedecked cupcake delivered to her door. Heck, we’re not even mad about it if someone drops a bag of glorified Chex Mix into our mailbox! If your ladies are more into the salty snacks, seasoned nuts aren’t that difficult to pull off––and this recipe is where it’s at! Make your Galentine’s Day goodies (and your pals) feel extra-special by packaging them in personalized gift bags like these little beauties or adorable themed favor boxes like these bow-topped cuties, both perfect for spoiling your fave land mermaids.
Dream Up a Future Getaway
While being on vacation is more fun than planning a vacation, we’ll take what we can get right now. To that end, dreaming up far-flung travel plans with your girls will certainly bring the spirit of Galentine’s Day to life. And here’s the beauty part: you don’t have to pay for it (yet). Start by tossing around a few of your most-wished-for locations and think about what you’d want to do when you get there. Chances are there’s a beach involved, so you’ll want to pre-plan a swim wardrobe for your trip, too. Racy cherry swimwear like the Red Polka Dot Cutout Bikini and the Red Cutout One-Piece Swimsuit is more than a figment of your vacation-obsessed imagination, though. These swimsuits look as good at the local pool as they do on the pink sands of Aruba.
All the craftastic folks reading right now will remember cutting out photos and magazines and pasting them into collages, since they were de rigueur gifts for our GFs throughout middle school. While we’re well beyond the glory days of 7th grade, homemade assemblages like these make rather meaningful gifts while simultaneously acting as time capsules. While it probably won’t be too hard to remember this year’s Galentine’s Day (it’s not like there’s ever been one during a pandemic before), creating homemade collages for your friends will make the memories a touch sweeter when you look back on this moment from a distance. Get as creative or as silly as you want and take your time, since it’s also a great way to kill some of those endless hours we’re all spending indoors.
Plan an Outdoor Outing
If brunch with your crew is off the table for the moment, there are still IRL hangout options to consider for Galentine’s Day. If you live somewhere warm enough, you can take a bike ride together, though an al fresco yoga class is a good idea, too. Even if the weather’s chilly or kinda cold, you can still hit the park for a G-Day amble or head to a local track for a few laps. It’ll warm you right up and even burn off some of those brunch calories if you were lucky enough to make that happen. Got the urge to spread the word that you’re strolling together for Galentine’s Day, all without removing your puffer coat? Pop on your themed tiaras, over a hat if necessary, to broadcast your sisterly love on this most special of days.
Host a Virtual Hangout
If it’s absolutely freezing and you can’t bear to gather out of doors, you can always fall back on a virtual Galentine’s Day celebration. This works well for girlfriends who are spread out over multiple time zones, too. Unlike an in-person hangout, digital festivities don’t have the benefit of following the natural flow of conversation, so it’s best to prep some conversation topics ahead of time if you’re planning on hosting a video chat for more than three people. No one wants to see their gals staring into space while trying to determine when it’s their turn to talk. Instead, ask everyone to share a favorite memory or funny story and they’ll be smiling in no time.
Decorate, Decorate, Decorate
This is especially important if you plan to do that group Zoom we just talked about above, since you’ll want to differentiate your G-day video chat setup from the usual blank wall you use for workday meetings. Break out the fanfare and spruce up your space with a decor kit like this one or a fun garland, both of which majorly upgrade your background game. If you’re having people over in person, try to go that extra mile (you know Leslie Knope would) and add in a couple of Happy Galentine’s Day balloons like these, too!
Don’t Forget the Presents
Now’s the right time to shower your gals with gifts. There’s no need to spend a ton of dough or write a 5,000-word essay on each of your queens, though. We think that this customizable conversation heart pillow would be a hit, as would this heart-shaped lipstick from a beloved K-beauty brand––especially in the shade named “Girl Power.” Another silly but fun prezzie, this heart-shaped mini waffle maker (something no one has ever bought for themselves throughout the history of womankind, the history of shopping, or the history of waffles) would do Ms. Knope and her BF Ann Perkins proud. If you plan to go full-out for Galetine’s Day, why not “take it there” with photo-printed pajamas? Yes, it’s a little crazy, but then again, so is creating a holiday out of a TV show episode.
Send a Card
If goofy presents are a step too far, or it’s too complicated and/or expensive to send gifts all around the country to friends in various locations, you can always celebrate your gals with clever greeting cards instead. This is where small makers really shine, since you can snap up original designs on quality paper stock for the whole girl gang for less than the cost of junkers from the drugstore or supermarket. We’re fans of both subtle designs like this one and fun-forward cards peppered with Parks and Recreation quotes, as seen here. Think of it from your friends’ perspectives: getting something in the mail that’s personal and thoughtful is a lot nicer than opening up yet another bill!
So, one of your favorite ladies happens to be covered in fur and regularly uses your yard as her bathroom. No, it’s not your drunk neighbor who wears the faux-leopard coat. It’s your pet! Your furry gal––be she a beast, fowl, or fish––is just as good of a friend as any human in your cohort. Add her to the pro-female celebration and spread a little joy in her direction with special toys like a Xs-and-Os rope, Galentine’s-themed dog treats, or a new collar emblazoned with hearts. If you really want to get on your kitty or pooch’s good side, consider pampering her with a plush bed of pink and white fluff. While it may not be as exciting as snuffling up brunch’s waffle crumbs when they drop off the table, a cushy bed makes every day feel like Galentine’s Day.