This past holiday season has undoubtedly been a difficult one.
As the world resiliently wrestled with the onslaught of a global pandemic, we were all forced to reckon with the “most wonderful time of the year” looking a lot different than what many of us were accustomed to.
And, of course, this need for reimagining how we partake in celebrations didn’t stop on New Years day 2021.
Valentine’s Day is the next holiday in line to be put to the test of necessary Covid-19 restrictions and limitations.
This means that the best spinoff of any holiday ever – Galentine’s Day – is also on the line.
What is Galentine’s Day?
Galentine’s Day is the less stressful February holiday that falls on the 13th and is all about celebrating your girlfriends (or really any close friend no matter their gender).
This fun holiday was first introduced by the popular TV show “Parks and Rec” back in 2010 and has since solidified itself into the fabric of our holiday traditions.
Why JUST celebrate romantic attachments on love day? Let’s be honest, your best gals (guys, and nonbinary pals) are probably a lot longer lasting connections than that guy you met on Hinge two weeks ago anyway — galentines day facts.
And, even though it may look a little different this year, there is no reason why you can’t celebrate the true meaning of Galentine’s Day (and Valentine’s Day) comfortably and safely with the people that always have your back and would never swipe left on you.
In this article we have put together a list of suggestions for how you and your friends can celebrate the (clearly superior) love day holiday in a COVID friendly manner that keeps everyone safe and hopefully makes you all a little happier during the beginning of the year holiday season.
Host a Virtual Event
You can keep the spirit of Galentine’s Day alive in true Leslie Knope style and opt to celebrate with a socially distanced brunch!
The best part? Nobody has to make a decision about which restaurant to go to.
Plan the meal together and make food preparation a part of the celebration, or go your separate ways and set a time to dial in and eat together. The only requirement is that there MUST be mimosas!
And if brunch isn’t your style, you can always go for a nice Galentines dinner party. There have been very few chances for any of us to get “all dolled up” and go out in the last couple of months.
It might feel nice to put on something other than one of your favorite pairs of yoga pants that you’ve been alternating between since last March!
If you and your friends are into makeup, you can make that a part of the fun. FaceTime each other while you get ready and stretch your face painting expertise by challenging your friends to use bold colors or try and copy celebrity looks.
Add a glass of wine and some chocolate to the mix, and you might want to forgo dinner altogether!
Wine and Design
In a similar vein, you can always opt to edit out food or meal time for your virtual Galentine’s Party.
Though sharing a meal with friends is always great (even if not in person), it may feel a little more exciting and meaningful to do an activity with your gals when you meet up.
Wine and Design can be a great tool for that! And, this does not necessarily mean strictly painting on a canvas.
Talk with your friends about what sorts of crafting projects they are interested in (or interested in trying) and set a time to try it together. You can choose to paint, draw, write, sew, or try out any other type of craft that all of your friends can easily access the tools for.
The wine of course is optional, but getting a little tipsy and laughing with your friends while you try out a new skill is the very definition of galentines day manifested – no matter if it’s in person or over zoom.
FaceTime Game Night
If crafting is not your style, another fun activity for you and your gals could be a virtual game night to celebrate galentines day.
There are a lot of apps, games, and websites that are catering to the demand for virtual game nights during the pandemic.
Among Us (a free app you can download on your phone – or pay for if you choose to put it on your computer) has seen a huge spike in popularity because of its set up as a game and platform for game driven socialization.
You and your gals could have a lot of fun getting on a group call and starting a private Among Us game. Commentary on the game (and trying to keep your friends from finding out which one of you is the imposter) can make for some great laughs and much needed bonding time.
If you and your girls want to get a little loose (and have a hankering for a hangover) you could choose to play a couple virtual drinking games together.
Keep in mind that you can always choose to forgo the alcohol here and instead substitute it with water (or something gross like pickle juice or diluted ketchup for those games that involve a dare).
Whatever idea you might choose for your virtual Galentine party, be sure to bring love day decor into the mix.
Though it might not seem like much, setting out some candles or even buying flowers and some hokey valentines day chocolate all for yourself can be a nice act of self care and add a spirited set up for your galentines get together that will help you to divide it from the seemingly hundreds of other virtual calls you’ve been subjected to over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Though in person gatherings should be limited in size and should definitely all happen outdoors, if you have a small circle of gals that you want to celebrate with, it could be a safe option for you to have a safe outdoor get together.
Though every state’s COVID-19 restrictions are different, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that going anywhere with a group indoors or out of your state of residency is not a great idea.
However, if mother nature grants us a pretty day on Galentines, it may be perfectly possible for you and a couple of your friends to get together at a local park and sit six feet apart.
Take a couple big picnic blankets and some single mini bottles of champagne and get some fresh air together.
If you would prefer to not be sedentary on your outdoor excursion, you and your friends can find a nearby hiking trail to explore together (be sure to bring water and snacks as well as your mini champagne bottles in this case).
If you choose to go outside, be sure to wear a mask around your friends (and anyone else you might happen upon on your outside adventure) if you are going to need to be closer than six feet.
Send out Quarantine Care Packages
Because Galentine’s Day is all about the gal pals in your life, it is perfectly likely that many of the people you want to celebrate the holiday with are single and maybe even living alone during these isolating times.
If you do not have the time to carve out a virtual get together for you and your friends, a great way to let the ladies (and close “laddies) in your life know you’re thinking of them is to send them a thoughtfully curated quarantine care package.
This may be especially uplifting for those in your life (male or female) who might be feeling a little extra lonely on Valentine’s Day weekend during a global pandemic that mandates social distancing.
And, you definitely do not have to shuck over a ton of money to make your gals feel like you love them and are thinking of them.
Something as simple as a bottle of bubble bath, a favorite snack, and a small scented candle could be gifts enough to let your friends know you care.
If you want to get everyone involved, go secret santa style and match your friend circle up with a partner to get a small gift for.
Have a good time with it! Make up your own rules about what sorts of things go. Maybe you and your friends choose a monetary limit, or mandate that the gifts be funny, gaggy, or “sexy”.
Though Galentines Day will definitely be looking a little different this year, there is a lot of fun to be had in stretching your creative muscles and finding new ways to explore the meaning of a holiday designed to celebrate love and emotional closeness.
This year, we all deserve a galentine.