Galentine’s Day (What Is It? + How to Celebrate in Style!)

~ Galentine’s Day is possibly the best holiday anyone has invented in a long, long time. So just what IS Galentine’s Day? We’ve got the scoop, plus loads of Galentine’s Day ideas for how to celebrate, what to eat, Galentine’s gifts (totally optional BTW) … and more! ~

Overhead photo of three hands reaching across each other to load up plates of Galentine's Day waffles with various toppings and sprinkles from a waffle bar.

What Is Galentine’s Day?

Galentine’s Day celebrates gals and their besties – those friendships that have stood the test of time, through thick and thin, through boyfriends and husbands, through the good days and the bad. It’s not about romance – it’s about friendship.

Pretty hard to think of many better reasons to celebrate!

As Cosmpolitan so perfectly puts it, “At its gooey heart … it’s a day 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.”

So great, right?!?

A totally made-up holiday (we’ll get to the hilariously, wonderfully, completely fictional roots of it all in a sec …) that is 100% about how much you treasure the most important friendships in your life. You don’t gotta do the gift thing, or even grab a sappy card. (Although … yeah, it’s ok if you want to.)

You just … celebrate the people you care about. So beautifully simple, so perfectly fun.

When Is Galentine’s Day?

Galentine’s Day falls on February 13. Right before Valentine’s Day (that other holiday for celebrating people we love best).

Parks and Rec Galentine’s Day (How It All Began)

As if this completely made-up holiday wasn’t fun enough (just because it’s such a great idea) … the whole story of how Galetnine’s Day started makes it even more fun!

Galentine’s Day is the wonderful invention of a completely fictional TV character – Leslie Knope on Parks and Rec (played by Amy Poehler). 

According to Wikipedia, the segment “Galentine’s Day” aired back in 2010 – the 16th episode of the second season of Parks and Recreation.

The basic outline is that Leslie Knope throws a brunch bash for her female friends, complete with plenty of waffles and other brunchy delicacies … and even ridiculous hand-made gifts like crocheted flower pens, mosaic portraits made from the crushed bottles of each friend’s favorite soda, and 5,000-word essays pontificating about why her friends are so awesome.

One loaded-up Galentine's Day waffle, piled high with various fruits, sprinkles and ice cream, sitting on a white plate with a basket filled with additional little bowls of toppings behind it.

Ridiculous good fun – as only Parks and Rec can deliver it. 

And Leslie’s brilliant idea caught on like wildfire.

Because it wasn’t just ridiculous and fun. It was brilliant and perfect and just totally felt right. (Why did it take all these years until a fictional character finally figured out that our besties deserve their own celebration!?!? Seems so obvious now!)

But you’re not Leslie. And you probably don’t like to crochet flower pens. Probably don’t want to spend the time to write a bunch of 5,000 word essays.

No worries!

We’ve got lots of ideas for how to celebrate Galentine’s Day in style … your way!

Galentine’s Day Ideas

When it comes to celebrating this particular holiday in style, the great thing is that style doesn’t have to mean glitz and glamour and expense. Remember … it all started with waffles and crochet.

The best way to celebrate is YOUR way. The way that will make you and your friends feel the happiest, the most connected. 

So, what exactly could that be?

How about …

Galentine’s Day Brunch

If you wanna stay true to the roots of the day, brunch is the way to go.

And waffles – lots of waffles (maybe some mimosas, too)! 

You know we have lots of yummy brunch ideas for ya.

Bonus: because these recipe ideas are all a bit healthier, too, you and your besties won’t feel guilty celebrating again tomorrow. Because (don’t forget!) Galentine’s Day is immediately followed by that other day known for chocolates and caloric decadence. 😉

Galentine’s Day Evening

Can’t get everyone together for a morning brunch? No problem! I think Leslie would understand.

How about a casual evening, just catching up and laughing together? No guys, no kids. Just friend time. Sounds perfect, huh?

• You could stage a little mani-pedi spa party.

• Or, maybe cue up your favorite rom-com. Or, hey hey – why not pay homage to the reason you’re all there together, and giggle through a Parks and Rec watch-a-thon (remember the “Galentine’s Day” segment is in season 2).

Need a few snackies? (Of course you do! Can’t sip a nice glass of wine without some perfect munchies alongside.) 

Again, we’ve gotcha covered … with yummy ideas that won’t leave the gals all feeling over-fed and regretful!

Galentine’s Day Gift Ideas

I’d say this is one of those holidays where you can totally skip the gifts. In fact, obsessing too much over the right gift just takes the focus off the whole point, anyway.

But, if you’re the gifty type, a well-chosen trinket or two isn’t out of bounds here, either.

Totally up to you – gifts or no gifts. There kinda aren’t a lot of rules for this holiday – whatever feels right for you and you pals is just fine. 

Sadly, just like so many other holidays, Galentine’s Day is already becoming more commercialized. (As if crochet and personally crafted essays weren’t good enough!) There are plenty of lists out there to fuel your ideas, if you feel like you have to buy something for your besties.

But, what about some ideas that are a little more heartfelt and true to where this holiday began? How about:

• A handmade scrapbook filled with pictures, ticket stubs … all the things from all the years. (The old-fashioned kind of scrapbook, no Shutterfly required.)

• A personal letter. (No no … you don’t have to hit Leslie’s 5,000-word-limit!) Just a thoughtful note about all the things that are most wonderful about your friend, all the things you adore about them, and how very much they mean to you.

• If you live somewhere warm enough that flowers are blooming right now (I’m jealous of you!), make each friend a custom bouquet filled with blooms in her favorite colors.

• Or, if you have a special talent or hobby – maybe making jewelry or cards or candles or soaps – leverage your skills to craft a personalized gift from the heart.

And hey, what if your special talent is cooking? Wanna whip up a little Galentine’s Day DIY gift in food form? Well then, you’ve come to the right place (you know … because food is what we do here)!

Galentine’s Day When You Can’t Be Together

Whether it’s because this is 2021 and a lot of us still can’t be together. Or, because some of your most special friends are too far away for brunching. No matter! Be creative! How about:

• A phone call. A really good, long call where you don’t simultaneously do laundry or empty the dishwasher. Where you 100% listen and truly, truly connect.

• Host that rom-com party or Parks and Rec watch-a-thon virtually. We’ve all gotten pretty good at the whole virtual thing now – this one’s easy!

• Cook together! Again … virtually, of course! Make those waffles, and then eat them together, from across the miles. They’ll still taste wonderful, and your heart will still be happy!

• Plan ahead a little and mail out cards, or “Why You’re Awesome” essays, or your homemade candles … anything that reminds your friends how very much you value them.

• Surprise your gal pals by sending a fruit bouquet. (Since they might be receiving flowers for Valentine’s Day, fingers crossed.)

Bottom line: it doesn’t have to be complicated or fancy. It just has to be YOU. You telling all those wonderful women in your life that they truly are WONDERFUL. Reminding them that they make a difference, that they’re cherished …

… and that friendship is always worth celebrating!

P.S. In the spirit of Galentine’s Day, I can’t write this article without sending a shoutout and a hug to my pal Gretchen. If you hang around THK a lot, you know she’s the one who started this site with me, all those years ago. She’s the bestedy-bestest. xoxo

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Published on
Updated on August 1, 2021

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