It’s time to celebrate! Nope, not the Chiefs, not a significant other, not even the birth of some old presidents. It’s time to go all-in for Galentine’s Day! Time to celebrate some of the most important people in my life, people I love beyond words.
I’m talking about my friends — pals, buddies, crew, squad, gang, cluster — whatever you want to call them, they’re the amazing women who are in my corner in good times and bad.
February 13th is their day. Galentine’s Day — a fringe holiday created by television show Parks and Rec. In the show, Leslie Knope, ever the enthusiastic and over-the-top encourager, has a breakfast to celebrate the women in her life. Her group is a mismatched assortment of ages, personalities, and affiliations. What they have in common is that she loves them, and they love her. Each of them brings something special to her life.
All through my life, I have had good friends. People I had fun with, who shared similar interests, or who were in the same stage of life that I was at that time. Each of these people played a role in my life, and I have always been thankful for each of them.
But somewhere along the way, something changed about how I looked at these relationships. Maybe I finally grew up and learned to truly appreciate my friends. Maybe I realized how very much they bring to my life. Maybe I stopped long enough in the midst of an incredible high-point in my life or took a pause during one of the times when the world was crashing around me to really see them.
Through the moments in my life, these are the people who have led me when I wasn’t sure where I was headed, been beside me to share in my day-to-day events and celebrate my highlights, and nudged me when I needed a little push to keep going. They have surrounded me with their presence. They have enveloped me with love and compassion. They have helped me be the best me possible.
These amazing women come from all different parts of my life, they couldn’t be more different from each other, and they are my gals and I can’t wait to celebrate each of them!
But what does a true Galentine’s Day celebration look like?
While I’m not ruling out a pancake breakfast, we are still in the midst of a pandemic, so here are my top ten ways to remotely celebrate my cluster, my gals:
1. Load them up with their favorites
If your friend loves chocolate, then load them up! Fill a bag will chocolate treats of every kind. Expand their horizons by including a bottle of chocolate wine or a chocolate ale. Have a plant-lover in your group? Drop off some awesome new succulents or a bonsai to brighten their day.
2. Capture a moment
Pull out your phone and find a great pic of the two of you — or your gang. Print the pic and put it in a totally unique frame! For all the great moments they have given you, give one back.
3. Give a gift of time
For your frazzled friend who could use a few minutes to themselves — and who couldn’t? — offer to babysit while she and her partner have a romantic dinner in the car. Or give her a certificate for a laundry service. For all the times she has been there for you, give a little time back.
4. Be a good sport
It’s been a long year for sports fans — limited seating, shortened seasons — but good times are coming. Buy your fan friend a pair of tickets to a sporing event. She has always been your cheerleader, now she can cheer for her favorite team. With good luck, she will take you along!
5. Let them learn something new
For all that your pal has taught you, give them a lesson of their own. Think about things they have mentioned wishing they knew how to do or skills they would like to learn and purchase a class to get them started. You can get everything from craft cocktail classes to knitting to pole dancing. There is something for every personality!
6. Cherish their traditions
Even if the tradition doesn’t include you, help them honor it. Think about stories they have shared about what they did growing up to celebrate birthdays or other special days. A fancy cakestand if a big birthday celebration is something they grew up with. If their family celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in a big way, find a fun decoration to add to their collection.
7. Flashback to where it all started
Think back to how you met. Gift a school t-shirt for the friend you met in college or have a coffee mug personalized with a slogan to remind them of where your friendship kicked off.
8. Put it in words
Gifts are great, but nothing beats a truly heartfelt message. You may choose to go the sentimental route and write a beautiful note about how much your friend means to you and all the ways they have made your life better or have your special phrase put on a cookie cake!
9. Pamper them
As much as we would all love to indulge in a spa day, that may have to wait until next year. For now, put together a care basket with a foot mask, nail care items, facial supplies, some herbal tea, and a good book.
10. Celebrate them all year long
The best thing about true friends is that they are there every day, no matter what. Make sure your friend knows how special she are to you every day all year long. Create a personalized calendar with photos from your various adventures. Add in birthdays of mutual friends and special days, include inside jokes, goofy one-liners, and shared references on days throughout the year.
No matter how you choose to celebrate your friends this Galentine’s Day, I encourage you to make it a priority and focus on making it special.
A lot of people will come into your life. The really special ones will stay, through good times and bad. They will be your group and they will change your life for the better. I can’t think of anything better to celebrate.