Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, but the celebration I needed all of my life is Galentine’s Day.
A holiday created entirely by Parks and Recreation, Galentine’s Day takes place on February 13 to celebrate and empower women. All about ladies celebrating ladies, it is the answer to Valentine’s Day for women everywhere.
Forget worrying about your relationship status when Valentine’s Day rolls around. Galentine’s Day can be celebrated by women who are single or coupled. It’s not heteronormative, and it’s all about having a great time.
Looking back at all my frankly depressing Valentine’s celebrations, I have to wonder wonder where this holiday was all my life!
So, how we can celebrate this truly spectacular and necessary holiday?
1. Host (or schedule) a brunch with the gal pals in our lives. Let’s break out the waffles and mimosas and truly enjoy time with our ladies. We can even exchange Galentines cards or make fun, pretty party favors for guests.
2. Leave the weepy or sappy Valentine’s music at home. This is GALentine’s Day! It’s time for us to break out our kick-ass playlist to celebrate women. My playlist includes Salt-N-Pepa, Lana del Rey, M.I.A., Alicia Keys, Sia, Heart, Florence and the Machine, and more.
3. Send seriously awesome, snarky, creative, feminist Galentine’s cards. There are so many incredible options to purchase online (check out Etsy), or we can make our own. The important thing is that we let these ladies know that we recognize and appreciate them.
4. Host a chocolate sampling or attend a class to learn to make chocolate goodies. Do not—I repeat, do not—celebrate Galentine’s Day without chocolate. How would a chocolate sampling work? Have each party attendee bring a different kind of chocolates to share. These can be truffles, homemade cookies, fondue, or any other wonderful form. The only rule is that each person must bring enough to share. Oftentimes, culinary classes are available to learn to make your own chocolates, too.
5. Create a Galentine’s Day Facebook event to celebrate our friends near and far. This is a great way to recognize the women in our lives, network, and share celebration suggestions. As a single mom of two, I may not be able to get away from my home, but I could have a glass of wine and watch a movie that celebrates female friendships. An online event would allow others to suggest music and movies and provide a sense of camaraderie on the day.
6. Plan a Girlfriend Getaway in conjunction with the holiday. This is the perfect time to take a day trip—or a weekend getaway—with our best girlfriends. We could make it an annual event, even if it’s only a one-day adventure. A spa day would be my ideal, but any activity with our friends is a fantastic way to celebrate.
7. Remember to let our gal pals know how much they mean to us. Don’t let the day pass without sending out a quick text, email or phone call that says, “I appreciate your friendship.” Sometimes the simplest thing we can do is also the most meaningful. Though a little chocolate never hurts!
All of our lives, Valentine’s Day has stood like a beacon. Every February 14th that rolls around brings excitement, dread, hope or disappointment—depending on one’s relationship status.
But in this year of pussy hats and protests, we need Galentine’s Day more than ever!
We need a day to recognize each other. We need to stop perpetuating misogyny with this idea that men make better friends than women, or that women are catty gossips.
The women in my life are strong, powerful, beautiful, kick-ass ladies who inspire me every day. They take hits and keep getting back up to face a new day. They create spectacular lives, and I am proud to know them.
Let’s celebrate all of the gal pals we hold dear. Let’s put the focus on supporting each other—not roses and romance.
(And for the men who will inevitably complain that Galentine’s Day excludes them: by all means throw your own February 13th celebration to recognize the bromances in your life. Hey, a nice Obama-Biden card could really go a long way to showing how you feel. You can even make it all about “bros before hos,” but we’re going to be celebrating ovaries before brovaries. Sorry not sorry!)
Happy Galentine’s Day!
Author: Crystal Jackson
Image: Plata Club/Flickr
Editor: Toby Israel