Galentine’s Day

I’ve always loved Valentine’s Day, dating waaaay back to, well, as long as I can remember. I loved the elementary school exchanges, when we all stuffed terribly cheesy, tiny Valentines into each other’s lovingly homemade Valentine boxes (shoe boxes covered in construction paper hearts with a slit cut in the top).

As I got older – even in the years when I didn’t have a boyfriend (which were frequent) – I still enjoyed the holiday, using it as an excuse to bake heart-shaped cookies for friends and family members. And these days I have a wonderful husband, and so Valentine’s Day continues to be fun. Although we intentionally avoid those over-priced Valentine’s Day restaurant set-ups, and tend to opt for a romantic meal at, say, Taco Bell. And we have a blast doing it.

All that to say, I’m a firm believer in Valentine’s Day being what you make it. And if you find yourself single this February 14? I vote for taking the Leslie Knope (of Parks and Rec fame) approach, and using that status as an opportunity to celebrate Galentine’s Day, where you and other girlfriends pay homage to how wonderful it is to be female and be friends.

If you’re looking for some tips on how to celebrate Valentine’s Day with some other single ladies this year, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some recommendations on how to throw a killer party:

Ditch the pink and red theme.

Go for the unexpected, by decorating with colors outside of the traditional Valentine’s Day palette.

Get to baking.

After all, you must serve something sweet for Valentine’s Day! (For the rest of the food, try making a couple of favorite appetizers and having guests pitch in with drinks and other snacks. That way, you won’t spend all day in the kitchen beforehand.)

Set the mood.

Who cares that there aren’t guys around? That’s no reason not to include flowers and candles in your set up.

Drink up!

In addition to having wine and champagne available, pick a fun, shamelessly girly cocktail recipe and dub it the evening’s signature drink. After all, why not take advantage of not having guys present?

Give the gift of love.

After all, this holiday is a great time to remember all the people we love in our lives – both romantically and otherwise. Consider hosting a gift exchange where guests are assigned to one another beforehand (think Secret Santa-style) so they can pick out something just right for each attendee.

Start with an activity.

If you want to make your party more of a day-long event, consider choosing an activity your guests either love or have been wanting to try and start the day off with that activity. It could be a yoga class or indoor rock climbing or a cooking class, but it will leave you all feeling extra bonded and proud of your accomplishment.

Decorate cards.

Have some art supplies out and let your guests decorate cards that can be sent to family, friends, and loved ones.