Go All Out for Your Pals With These Galentine's Day Ideas

galentines day
The Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Galentine’s DayPexels

It’s been pretty much ingrained in our heads since we were little that Valentine’s Day equals romantic dates, fancy gifts, flower deliveries, and gazing into the eyes of your ~one true love.~ But while wearing shapewear to an overpriced restaurant on February 14 is cute and all, there’s an arguably even more fun holiday to celebrate the day before. Allow me to introduce you to Galentine’s Day, a special day dedicated to honoring friendship in all its forms.

Granted, Galentine’s Day isn’t an “official” holiday, so it’s not really taking over the aisles at Target or popping up on your Google Cal, but this pre-Valentine’s Day celebration is just as important as February 14 because it honors the people who are always there for you…oftentimes in ways your S.O. can’t be. (Cue: The Friends theme song.) I mean, who else can you call for last-minute outfit input, breakup advice, or to complain about shit your partner just won't get? It's all about the besties, y'all.

And sure, you can (and should!) always pamper your pals on their birthdays. But until Galentine’s Day, there wasn’t a set day to recognize all of your non-romantic relationships. While it’s fun to go on a special Valentine’s Day date and have super-hot sex with your luvah (still do that, pls), it’s also fun to shower your best friends with gifts, love, and quality time in an “official” kind of way.

So regardless of whether or not you’re coupled up this month, it’s time February becomes about more than just romantic love. And to make planning as easy as possible, we’re breaking down every single thing you need to know about G-Day. From Galentine’s Day Instagram ideas to the best Galentine’s Day gifts, here’s how to make the most of V-Day’s platonic better half.

What and When is Galentine’s Day?

According to Urban Dictionary, Galentine’s Day is celebrated on February 13—the day before Valentine’s Day or Valentine’s Day Eve. While Ryan from The Office knows this is, perhaps, the worst night of the year to hook up with someone new, it just so happens to be one of the best calendar days to celebrate love with your besties.

While the holiday can look different for everyone (there aren’t any rules, like dressing up in costume or bringing a giant pine tree inside your house), the whole point of G-Day is to honor the connection you have with your lady friends, whether they’re single or not, and shower them with more love and attention than you do every other day. It's sort of like Friendsgiving celebrations in the sense that you all get together and love on each other, but Galentine's Day is typically more centered around female bonding and empowerment.

Where Did Galentine’s Day Come From?

One of the most interesting things about Galentine’s Day is that it wasn’t created by a card company or internet marketplace trying to take all your money. Instead, Galentine’s Day was founded by a badass fictional character: Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation.

The friend-filled holiday dates back over a decade to season two, episode 16 of Parks and Rec. During the 2010 episode (which is aptly called “Galentine’s Day”), Leslie gathers a group of her closest gal pals for a brunch full of waffles and love. “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 explains in the episode. “Ladies celebrating ladies.”

And thus, Galentine’s Day was unofficially added to everyone’s calendar. According to The Atlantic, it’s such a widely recognized fake holiday that some companies now run Galentine’s Day promotions. What could be more real than that?

How Do I Celebrate Galentine’s Day?

First off, just like Valentine’s Day, you are absolutely free to skip Galentine’s Day if it doesn’t feel like your thing. That said, it's definitely worth giving the holiday a chance. Sure, it sounds a lil cheesy, but considering that it's a day all about showering your friends with affection, it’s a pretty easy holiday to fall in love with.

The good news is that because Galentine’s Day is so new, there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate. Without centuries of tradition, you sort of get to make your own rules here. Many people choose to pay tribute to Leslie Knope—the foremother of Galentine’s Day, if you will—by hosting a waffle and cocktail brunch. If breakfast foods aren’t your vibe, you could gather your pals for a tapas happy hour, make a reservation at a fancy restaurant, coordinate a group mani-pedi appointment, or simply pop champagne and commemorate how great it is to be in a room full of your favorite people for a few hours.

Better yet, you don’t even have to leave your house or put on pants to mark the occasion. If your bestie is long-distance, you could celebrate by sending them a cute care package and catching up over a long FaceTime. Or you can use the day to pamper yourself! You’re a gal, so show yourself some love whether that’s with a brand new Galentine’s Day outfit or a luxe spa day. It’s your Galentine’s Day, bb, and you can celebrate however you want.

Should I Throw a Galentine’s Day Party?

If all of the above has you seeing a potential Galentine's Day party on the horizon, you’re in luck, because this is one holiday that's super easy to host. Decor-wise, most people utilize the V-Day aesthetic for G-Day, so you don't even have to put up different decorations to get your space ready. Deck your place out in Valentine’s Day decor (the more heart balloons, the better!), invite a few pals over, and chow down on some treats. Easy peasy!

If you want to extend the festivities, you could host a slumber party complete with blanket forts, PJs, and prank calls (maybe not the last one, actually?), or have a virtual Galentine's Day party and get everyone together on Zoom to celebrate from your own homes. Basically, think of this party as an elevated friend hang, whatever that means to you.

Do I Have to Buy Stuff?

Again, there’s no rule that says you *have* to do anything other than honor yourself and your friends. If you really want to show the love, though, gifting your pals something special will definitely hit them in the feels. Here are a few cute suggestions your besties will love. (Remember: It's totally okay to order an extra for yourself! It's your holiday too!)

Is Galentine’s Day Only for Women?

Nope. Despite its name, anyone and everyone can celebrate Galentine’s Day. At its gooey heart, Galentine’s Day is a celebration of friendship and the people who stick by your side as romantic relationships come and go. That means you can celebrate with any and all friends, no matter their genders, orientations, etc. Like the holiday it precedes, Galentine's day is dedicated to showing the most important people in your life how much you care about them. It’s corny. It’s cheesy. And that’s what makes it great.

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