Despite spending most of my life as a single lady, I have always loved Valentine’s Day. I don’t care that it’s commercial and I don’t care that it’s supposedly a holiday for couples. I love that there is one day each year dedicated to love, not because we don’t love each other the rest of the year and need to be reminded, but because love is beautiful in all of its forms and it deserves to be celebrated!
About five years ago, I became inspired by my good friend Leslie Knope from the show “Parks and Rec” (if you haven’t seen it, drop everything and go watch all 7 seasons right now) and decided to begin my own Galentine’s Day tradition, which has become an amazing way to celebrate the love I feel for all of the beautiful goddesses in my life, whether or not I am in a romantic relationship.
What is Galentine’s Day, you may ask? It is a magical holiday celebrated on February 13th, where both single and coupled ladies alike can share their love for each other and bask in the glory of what amazing women they all are, regardless of their relationship statuses.
If you love event planning as much as I do and are interested in holding a Galentine’s Day event with some of your closest lady friends, here are some ideas for fun activities you can do to celebrate the best day of the year together:
Fill one, two, or three jars full of M&Ms, candy hearts, or any other small treat. Count how many pieces of candy are in each jar and then, during the party, have guests try to guess that number and write it down. The person closest to the right number gets to take their jar of candy home!
Leslie Knope Compliments
Leslie Knope is known for giving her best friend Ann Perkins some ridiculously hilarious and creative compliments. Choose your favourite Leslie Knope compliments, write each one down on some pretty paper and decorate them however you like, fold them up, and have guests each grab one at random as they arrive and then share their compliment with the group! Bonus points: put a special sticker on one or two of the compliments – whoever grabs that compliment gets a box of chocolates as a prize!
Natural Body Scrub
For this you need a few ingredients: a bag of brown sugar, a jar of coconut oil, a few nice smelling essential oils (optional), and enough small jars for each person. Spoon a huge chunk of coconut oil into a pot over a very low flame. Once the coconut oil is melted, pour in a bunch of brown sugar and mix it around. Keep adding until it has a nice thick consistency and is somewhat chunky (the exact ratio is not super important). Have each person spoon some of this mixture into their jar and add a few drops of whatever essential oils they would like. This is a great body scrub for the shower or bath that leaves you silky smooth! Bonus points: have some ribbons or pretty string for people to tie around their jar as a decoration.
Sit in a circle and have each person hold an unlit candle. Whoever wants to start can light their candle and then share one thing they love about themselves, one thing they love about being a woman, and one thing they love about the person to their right. After they have shared, they use their flame to light the candle of the person to the right and she is next to share. (This can be done with or without candles, but I think they give it a nice touch!)
Either before or during the party, create some fun speech bubble props that say things like “You’re a cutie!”, “You have a sexy brain!” or “Uteruses before duderuses!”. Hang up a decorative sheet as a background in a space where guests can take photos throughout the night using the props! Bonus points: include other props like hats, feather boas, silly glasses, a plastic miniature horse…you get the idea.
For this you will need: a bag of chocolate chips, a couple boxes of strawberries, and a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Melt the chocolate chips over low heat in a pan on the stove, dip the delicious strawberries into the chocolate, and set them on the wax paper. Once everyone has dipped a few strawberries, leave the tray in the fridge for about 15-20 minutes to harden and then enjoy! Bonus points: after dipping the strawberries in chocolate, dip them in sprinkles or shredded coconut!
These are just a few ideas for how you can make Leslie Knope proud and make your now annual Galentine’s Day event a smashing success. Other possible activities include: watching a girly movie, painting fingernails and toenails, having an arts and crafts station to make love notes for each other, making the event a chocolate or wine potluck, having a dress code (i.e. jammies, something with glitter).
If being super “girly” really isn’t your thing, feel free to make your Galentine’s Day event completely your own! Not all women relate to these kinds of activities and that is totally fine – find some fun things that work for you and your friends and create your own traditions. If you want to make music, bring instruments! If you want to drink beer and watch sports, drink beer and watch sports! The possibilities are endless, you beautiful rule-breaking moth. The truth is, there really is no wrong way to celebrate Galentine’s Day, as long as you are spending time with some awesome women and having fun together.
And remember, ovaries before brovaries, y’all.
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Olive Ryan is a traveler, educator, blogger, photographer, lover of glitter and acro yoga enthusiast! Although her hometown is Portland, Oregon, she has lived in and explored many corners of the world and looks forward to spending the rest of her life doing so. Find more of her writing on her travel and wellness blog, oliveabroad.com.