It’s February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. The celebration of love is a tradition that has continued throughout the centuries. Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful opportunity for the declaration of blossoming or long lasting love, but I know this holiday is not all heart-eyes and kisses for most of us. Not having a Valentine can be detrimental to our self-esteem. It can even be stressful at times, which can cause us to seclude ourselves, but there’s a solution for those of us dreading the weeks to come: Galentine’s Day.

Galentine’s Day is a holiday that applauds our lady friends and all that they do for us. This glorious celebration was created by the character Leslie Knope, played by Amy Poehler, from the television comedy series “Parks and Recreation.” The series has (sadly) ended, but Netflix has all six seasons available, so episode bingeing is totally possible and highly recommended.

On episode 16 of the second season, Leslie organizes a meeting of her closest friends to celebrate their friendship together. The holiday is celebrated on several episodes throughout the series; this has caused it to become an annual tradition in the series and in the real world.

Galentine’s Day occurs on Feb. 13, the day before Valentine’s Day. This year Galentine’s Day lands on a Monday, so partying is probably not an option for most of us, but I have an alternative: going out to dinner with your gal pals at a place near and dear to your hearts.

My friends and I usually go to the Mellow Mushroom, which is not far from UTSA’s Main Campus. On Mondays, the Mellow Mushroom has a year-round trivia night, and prizes are given to the three teams with the highest scores. We love the questions asked because they sound more like a bar poll rather than Jeopardy, so if you have basic pop culture knowledge you will love it too. Galentine’s Day venue ideas are subjective. I recommend doing whatever you and your girls enjoy, but be sure to celebrate the love you all have for one another.

A great way to show the love you have for your girls on Galentine’s Day is by exchanging gifts. The best gifts are obviously handmade. Pinterest has a ton of easy and fabulous ideas. You don’t need to go as big as Leslie Knope does (embroidering a pillow with your friends face on it), but you should create something that shows your girls you care about them.

When my friends and I exchange our handmade gifts, I am always surprised by what they come up with. Last Galentine’s Day, my friend created a collage of the trip we took together that year. She spent a lot of time on this wonderful gift, and it really showed me that she cared for our friendship. But if creativity and time are the two things that you do not possess, remember Lush bath bombs and sweets are always acceptable options.

So instead of eating ice cream while listening to Drake at home alone, go on a date with your best girlfriends. The great thing about Galentine’s Day is it’s the day before Valentine’s Day, so your friends with partners have no excuse not to attend. Pick a spot you all enjoy and remember to be creative with your gifts. Use this day as an excuse to be extra loving to the people that are practically family and also an excuse to eat as much as you want.

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