Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday that showcases and celebrates love, most often expressed in the romantic sense. While any excuse to shower your significant other with love is a great one, we think that now is as good a time as any to redefine Valentine’s Day in a way that allows us to give a little love to everyone in our life — including gal pals, family, and those who are less fortunate.
Leslie Knope (our inspiration behind this recent post) first introduced us to Galentine’s Day on Parks & Recreation. On the show, main character Leslie (played by oh-so-talented Amy Poehler), hosts an annual get-together with her favorite ladies in celebration of Valentine’s Day. While she ultimately makes the whole occasion seem silly, there’s still a ton of merit in her idea. Girlfriends bring so much light and joy to our lives, so why not celebrate a day devoted to love alongside them? Invite your friends over for girly cocktails, or follow in Leslie’s footsteps and host a fun weekend brunch, complete with pink and red décor and heart-shaped treats. If your friends are spread out all over the country, send them cute homemade Valentine’s Day cards to let them know how treasured they are.
We spend plenty of holidays and special occasions doing fun things with our families, but Valentine’s Day is typically not one spent with our next of kin. Make the choice to change that this year by inviting your family over for a home-cooked Valentine’s meal. Enjoy dessert while going around the table and telling your guests what you appreciate about them. If your family doesn’t live nearby, set up a Skype date or Google+ Hangout on the evening of February 14th. “Toast” with festive beverages (but don’t spill on your computer screen!), enjoy some fun conversation, and end the call reminding your family how much you love them.
Consider spending your Valentine’s Day showing love to those in need. On February 14th, serve dinner at a soup kitchen. Contact the shelter beforehand to see if you can bring fun treats for dessert. Get together with your friends and make handwritten Valentines to distribute at a nursing home or a children’s hospital, reminding the people who stay there that they are seen, loved and valued. Sign up to walk dogs for an afternoon at the animal shelter, stocking your pockets with dog-friendly goodies. Often times, facilities that cater to the less fortunate struggle to find volunteers on holidays, even lesser-celebrated ones like Valentine’s Day. By showing up on a day when others are out on the town, you’re making a statement, one that proclaims that everyone should receive love on Valentine’s Day.
We hope that your Valentine’s Day is one intentionally filled with fun, love, and tasty treats, no matter who you celebrate with!
How do you intentionally celebrate Valentine’s Day? With friends, family or service?
Image via The Glitter Guide