Happy Galentine’s Day! And no, that’s not a typo. Sure, it’s a made-up, silly-ish, holiday—but it’s a day to celebrate your platonic friendships—so we say, why not! And for those of us who are not coupled up it’s actually a welcome day to show our best friends some love—and receive some in return.
What Is Galentine's Day?
Galentine's Day is a holiday celebrated on February 13 to honor friendships. It was created and popularized by Amy Poehler's fictional character, Leslie Knope, on Parks and Recreation.
The holiday was introduced during the sitcom's second season in an episode called “Galentine’s Day" in which Knope proclaimed the holiday, “It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus frittatas.” Poehler’s character hosted a group of her closest girlfriends for a glorious feast of waffles, mimosas, and sisterhood. “Every February 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast-style,” she says in the episode. “Ladies celebrating ladies.”
We love the girl power sound of that and ever since the episode aired in 2010, Galentine’s Day has become a staple on everyone’s calendar. Even better, over the years, it’s evolved to be more inclusive and not just reserved for women—guys and gals can get in on the fun of the day.
If you feel like getting in on the action, read ahead as relationship expert Susan Winter shares her advice on how to make Galentine’s Day extra special this year.
Gift an At-Home Spa Day
Hit up the drugstore and purchase a bath bomb, sheet mask, and candle (seriously, think under 10 bucks). Drop off these goodies on your friend’s doorstep with a note that says something like, "Happy Galentine’s Day! Pamper yourself."
“Encouraging a friend to take care of themselves is an honorable request. It shows you care deeply for your friend—and possibly more than they care for themselves at times," Winter tells Brides. “You know your friend puts everyone and everything before themselves; this is your way of insisting they give all that love back to themselves.”
Write a Letter
Zoom calls, Google meets, emails, Facetime, and texting are all the rage right now—but Winter encourages you to unplug. “Galentine’s Day is a perfect time to go old-school by snail-mailing a card or writing a letter. This thoughtful acknowledgment shows that you took time and energy to devote to your friend and friendship.”
Go for a Walk or Hike
We all lead busy lives between work, school, partners, kids, pets—the endless to-do list. Sometimes there is no time to get off of the hamster wheel, but you should. “Getting outside with your friend(s) is a fantastic cure-all. It takes our eyes off of screens and reconnects us to nature. Walking or hiking, breathing in the fresh air, and enjoying the serenity all around us clears the mind of its frantic clutter and gives us a chance to talk, or simply be with our friend,” adds Winter.
Cook a Meal Together
With endless food apps at our disposal, plan ahead to create a feast with your friend. Winter notes cooking together inspires conversation and relaxation. You’re a team doing and eating something you both love.
Have a Zoom Happy Hour
If 2020 and the beginning of 2021 taught us anything, it’s that we can still stay in touch and have fun while we do it. Send out a Zoom invite in advance. Tell your friends to block off an hour or two of time on a specific date. They should have their favorite drink, or mocktail, plus a snack on hand. Winter says to let the evening unfold like a regular happy hour, only virtually. Talk, drink, snack, and catch up.
Schedule a Mani and Pedi
When you book the appointment, explain that you are coming with your best friend and want to sit next to each other during the services. “It’s the perfect way to chat and relax,” Winter notes.
Send Your Friend Lunch
Whether your friend is working remotely or in an office—surprise them with their favorite lunch. Salad, sandwich, pizza, soup—it’s all considered comfort food when it comes from your bestie, right? “Sending a meal to your friend is a novel way to show that you care about them.”
Stream a Friend-Themed Film
Nothing says friendship like a movie night at home. So whether you watch Beaches, Mean Girls, or Bridesmaids together on the couch or stream the same movie at the same time, texting through it—it’s a great way to connect according to Winter. Don’t forget the popcorn.
Have a Slumber Party
Book a hotel suite, or invite your friends over—who cares if you’re an adult? “Slumber parties are fun no matter how old you are,” says Winter. And yes, please play Truth or Dare, Never Have I Ever, and break out the Ouija board. Detoxifying face masks and junk food are a must.
Engage In Retail Therapy
The plan: go shopping together and set a dollar limit. Treat each other to a little something special—a new scarf, bangle; perfume. “The act of being together is what counts. And the token gift is an added bonus.”
Learn Something New Together
Learn to crochet trendy, chunky blankets and show off your progress via texts, or take an in-person or online homemade pasta cooking class. The goal is you’re learning something brand new together. You’ll have each other’s backs—and a lot of fun in the process. Bonus: whatever you end up learning and/or creating will serve as a friendship memento.
Send a Digital Slide Show
Do you have a ton of pics of you and your best friend(s) on your phone and/or computer? Creating a slide show of memories to the soundtrack of a special song, like the one you blasted in the car during your high school years is an ideal Galentine’s Day gift. Winter says pleasant memories will warm your friend’s heart and allow them to relive the great moments you’ve shared together. Plus, it’s something they can rewatch, over and over again.