“What's Galentine's Day? Oh, it's only the best day of the year." ~ Leslie Knope
Valentine’s Day is the celebration of love and the story of martyred Saint Valentine who married couples in secret and defiance of the emperor around 275 AD, I think. With numerous stories of the origin of Valentine’s Day we can’t be certain what really happened. What we can be certain about is the origins of Galentine’s Day, this most celebrated day of February 13th where women come together over brunch and celebrate one another.
Galentine’s Day’s official first celebration took place in 2010 during the second season of Parks and Recreation. Specifically, it debuted the season’s 16th episode titled, “Galentine’s Day.” As the episode opens, the audience sees over the top gifts that Leslie Knope gives to all her closest female friends, and the nonofficial holiday was born. In the run of the show two more episodes featured a Galentine’s Day celebration, but only one featured the gifts given. Since then, women have embraced the celebration each year, but maybe not given gifts as elaborate as Leslie Knope.
Take time to celebrate the amazing women God has put in your life!
Since most of the gifts Leslie Knope gives are almost impossible for the average human, I submit a few substitutions if you’re in the gift giving spirit this Galentine’s Day.
1) Good for all
There are flower pens you can buy for friends, but ladies, let’s be honest, we want Sharpie S-Gel pens because they really do “glide across paper like Kristi Yamaguchi used to on ice.” Go with those pens if you don’t know how to crochet flower pens like Leslie Knope. Some other gifts that everyone appreciates are nice socks, chocolate, coffee, tea, candles, jewelry, tote bags, lotion, and so on. You can even "treat yo self" as you treat your friends.
2) Random Act of Kindness
Years ago I spoke the love language of gifts to a friend that was stressing out about being accepted to a study abroad program by bringing her a couple 2 liter bottles of diet coke to help her feel better as she waited, and she was over the moon appreciative of the random gift. I share that story to explain that you can surprise your friends with their favorite beverage of choice in bulk. Because you’re telling them you know what they love, you care about them and that you were thinking positively of them and bought the gift for them in response. You don't need to do something extravagant to show your friends that you care.
3) Personalize it
According to my in depth, 10 second google search, a 5000 word essay is on average a 10 page, single spaced essay. One of my senior year final essays in college was 10 pages double spaced! If you want to sit down and write a 5000-word essay about what is so awesome about your friend, no one is stopping you, but ask yourself, what would she actually love the most? My suggestion is to buy that book they have been wanting to read, or the graphic novel, or the movie they really want to watch, because not everyone loves to read. When you speak the love language of gift giving to your friends, ensure that you’re focused on the person you are buying for. If you’re not sure what they would like, asking others is always good. Or stalk their social media - there have to be clues there. Or as Economists will suggest, gifting money it’s the most responsible choice. I read that in a book once.
Galentine’s Day 2022 is on a Sunday. All hands-on deck because ladies, we have been preparing for this! Make your reservations, go to the 9:15am service, and then go straight to brunch! And of course, tip your servers at least 20%. Reservations are the best option when possible so you’re not waiting hours for food and it lets the restaurant know what to expect. A few amazing brunch places in Omaha are Pitch Pizzeria, Saddle Creek Breakfast Club, Early Bird Brunch, Le Peep, Lisa’s Radial Café, Le Voltaire, Mantra Var & Grille, and the list goes on. Start planning your Galentine’s Day brunch celebration now!
5) Finish with the most romantic story ever told
If one of your friends has a really romantic story, have them share it, but my personal suggestion is watch the movie “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” or the TV special of The Vicar of Dibley “Handsome Stranger” followed by “The Vicar in White.” Those two options are for me the most romantic stories ever told, and also include hilarity which is a must as well.
6) Make it your own!
I will wrap up this by saying if your friends aren’t really into gifts, find out what their top love languages are and speak it to them.
-Quality time: Going out to brunch and being present in the conversation will mean the world to them.
-Acts of Service: Offer to wash their car, shovel their driveway, watch their kids, make them dinner for the week, anything that helps them out.
-Words of affirmation: The 5000 word essay would cover that, but a quick note telling them how amazing they are is also meaningful.
-Physical Touch: Hugs, high fives, elbow bumps, wrapping an arm around their shoulders are a few options, but always give them the lead in this so they feel comfortable in how they want to receive affection!
When it comes down to it, Galentine’s Day doesn’t need to be limited to February 13th!
Anytime you want to celebrate your friends, celebrate them! And even better, celebrate them over brunch.
“Anytime a group of women get together for brunch, we embody the spirit of the holiday.” Leslie Knope
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