In the words of Leslie Knope, our public service matriarch and founder of this grand holiday: “February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is about celebrating romance, but February 13th, Galentine’s Day, is about celebrating lady friends! It’s wonderful and it should be a national holiday.”
Of course since Parks and Rec originally aired the idea of Galentine’s Day has rightfully gotten all the attention it deserves. It’s not uncommon to find Galentine’s cards at stores proudly set out among Valentine’s ones and naturally there is cute themed decor for the occasion in the Target dollar section.
The spirit of Galentine’s Day is one I have embraced fully over the years and I thought I would break down some of the ways I have celebrated in the past. After all, Leslie Knope says it should be a national holiday and I must say I agree.
1. Watch all the Parks and Rec Galentine’s Episodes
I do this every year without fail and it is now one of my favorite February traditions. Like most traditions it started slightly by accident; my husband was on a work trip and I was left unsupervised and in charge of the remote for a few days. I was in the mood for something comforting, something happy, and most importantly, something festive. I stumbled upon the first Galentine’s episode mid rewatch of Parks and Rec and it felt fortuitus. Throughout the rest of the evening I watched each season’s Galentine’s episode and my love for the holiday only grew. Now, years later, February first rolls around and I tack up my list and get to watching. I’ll share all the episodes below if you want to do your own Galentine’s episodes marathon watch!
Season 2: Galentine’s Day
Season 4: Operation Ann
Season 6: Galentine’s Day
2. Shop at a small business that is female owned
Galentine’s Day is an amazing excuse to support women working on building their own small business! Buy that print you’ve been eyeing on Instagram! Purchase that small batch candle or handmade pillow that’s been sitting in your cart on Etsy! I give you permission! As another Parks and Rec hero Donna Meagle once said, “Treat yo self!” and support a female entrepreneur in the process.
3. Have a get together with your girls
I think this one can sometimes feel overwhelming. We want to see our friends but we don’t want to have to go make a reservation or get a bunch of center pieces and helium filled balloons like we see on Instagram. We usually want to have the community and the celebration without the added stress. My advice is to do just that. If brunch and mimosas isn’t your crew’s thing then have people over for a chill movie night, or go to a wine and paint night, even just set time aside with a long distance friend to Facetime! Whatever it looks like for you set some time aside to celebrate the ladies and friendships around you! After all, that’s the spirit of the holiday!
4. “Secret Galentine” Bookswap
Is there anything better than supportive female friendships and books? I submit that there is not. Grab a few of your bookish pals and draw names. I like to keep it small for simplicity’s sake but if you want to go wild with a larger group of people then more power to you! The only stipulation on this festive fiction swap is that the book you give should contain one of your favorite female characters. This is an awesome way to get to know your friend’s book tastes a little better and maybe even branch out to reading something you wouldn’t usually pick up! Bonus points if you can guess your Secret Galentine by their book pick! You can always put more stipulations on this if you’re a crew of overachievers (the book must pass the Bechdal test, the book must contain one of your favorite female relationships, etc.) just make sure everyone is on board!
5. Send some “snail mail”
Now I know that this is not the most glamorous idea but hear me out: Galentine’s is the perfect occasion to pull this off. When I was a freshman in college I found myself disappointed with my college boyfriend’s effort on Valentine’s Day (as you do). One of my friends printed out a screencap of Mrs. Banks from the original Mary Poppins saying “Though we adore men individually we agree that as a group they are rather stupid.” and stuck it in my college campus mailbox. Not only did it brighten my day at the time, it is still one of my favorite Valentine’s I have ever received. That piece of paper has moved across the country with me a handful of times! Whenever I see it I always chuckle at least a little and think of that wonderful friend. I’m not saying that the letter you send will wind up being a keepsake like mine, but I am saying it will likely mean a lot to them and maybe even make their day.
However you celebrate, you unstoppable glamorous freight trains, I hope you and yours have a wonderful Galentine’s Day.