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The Best Galentine’s Day Ideas For You & Your Lady Friends

My very favorite time of year is the week after the New Year.

Why?

Because every year, one day that week, I celebrate my love for my galpals and get to revel in the fact that I am surrounded by so many talented, strong, and beautiful friends inside and out. We brunch, we bond, and we fight over the coolest present during our belated white elephant gift exchange.

For the past 10 years, this girl-bonding time has been my beloved tradition. And today, it appears that this concept of celebrating your favorite ladies has evolved into its own holiday – Galentine’s Day – in much part due to Leslie Knope, Amy Poehler’s “Parks and Recreation” character. Galentine’s Day, for those who are not aware, occurs every year on February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day and is a time to get together with your girlfriends and celebrate how much you love one another.

No matter what day you celebrate, it’s always nice to take time to honor your friendships and enjoy good company. So, whether you want to kick it over waffles and leave your partners at home like Leslie, or create your own tradition – here is some inspiration for your next girlfriend gathering.

How to Celebrate Galentine’s Day This Year

Throw a party for your whole squad: Pretty invites, fun activities, festive food, gift exchanges…bring on the friendship fete of the year. Check out these comprehensive guides  for DIY party or an HGTV inspired soiree.

Go on an adventure

Find a last minute travel deals or stay in the city and take a flower arranging class, celebrate powerful women, or head to drag brunch.

Connect to Judaism

Rosh Chodesh, a minor holiday that marks the beginning of every Hebrew month, has long been a time for Jewish women to gather for a wide variety of activities. According to MyJewishLearning.com, women come together to recite traditional liturgy, share a meal, discuss Jewish ethics, or work for social change according to. This is a perfect time of the year to form a group of gals to meet every month.

Snag a spot at GLOE’s Torah and Sexuality class, “Exploring Esther & Female Sexuality in Judaism”

Make some more lady friends!

Check out Sixth and I’s Not your Bubbe’s Sisterhood or Jewish Women International’s Young Women’s Leadership Network

Host or attend a Galentine’s Day Shabbat dinner.

Moishe House Bethesda is hosting a Galentine’s Day Shabbat (nourished by OneTable), and check out others – or get money to host your own – here.

Take some time to connect

Why not use Galentine’s Day as an excuse to reconnect with old friends? Send snail mail to your BFF from college. Facetime with your new-mom friend so you can catch up, and read her baby a bedtime story. Tell your running buddy you’ll be there to cheer for her on and off the track.

No matter how you celebrate, I hope you have a fun Galentine’s Day celebration and enjoy the friends that make your life so wonderful!

 

 

 

 

About the Author: Stacy Miller is a part of our “Gather the Bloggers” cohort of talented writers who share their thoughts and insights about DC Jewish life with you. enjoys entertaining her large Jew crew at her home and is currently the Director of EntryPointDC, the 20s and 30s program of the Edlavitch DCJCC. She represents all things Northern Virginia as the Founder of NOVA Tribe Series and is a former GatherDCGirl of the Year Runner-Up. Most importantly, she wants you know she LOVES this community a-latke.

 

 

The views and opinions expressed in this blog and on this website are solely those of the original authors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the organization GatherDC, the GatherDC staff, the GatherDC board, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

The V-Day Shuffle – GTJ Dating Series with Erika E. (No. 83)

cupidAh, Valentine’s Day.  Depending on where you are in a relationship (or where you’re not), it can be a day of roses and chocolates, love letters and hearts, uncertainty and stomach pangs, or leftover Pad Thai and a whole bottle of wine to drink solo.  Whatever your situation this Valentine’s Day, I want to provide some date ideas for any stage in a relationship:

Couples in very long-term relationships (including marriage):

At this stage, you may have already exhausted your cute and romantic ideas when you were trying to woo each other at the earlier stages of your relationship.  (If you still have a few tricks up your sleeve, good for you!)  Something as simple as a romantic dinner out (especially if you have kids) to spend some quality time together will still be a great date idea.  Oftentimes, once people enter long-term, committed relationships, they forget that the “dating” part is not over.  (I personally think it should never be over.)  And a well-thought card expressing your love for each other goes a long way.  Don’t take this stage for granted.

Couples in new relationships:

This is probably the most fun place to be for Valentine’s Day.  You likely get butterflies just thinking about spending your first V-Day together.  If you want to buy into the holiday (and I do partially mean literally, with the cards, flowers, and chocolate), then go for it!  Why not?  Go for a romantic dinner, take a weekend trip, feed each other chocolates.  And if that’s not your style, then go crazy watching (or making fun of?) other people doing this stuff!  Or just keep it low key if that’s more your thing, and declare it your own celebration.  Maybe you’ll go ice skating or to see a movie, but you’re still doing something to acknowledge the day.  Just have some fun – there’s nothing to lose!

People who just started seeing each other and aren’t sure where it’s going:

This is where things may get a bit hairy.  I’ve had clients ask me, after having gone on one or two successful dates, “What do I do for Valentine’s Day?  Do I make a big deal of it?  Do I even acknowledge it?  Do I buy something?”  This holiday adds so much undue pressure on things, pressure that is not necessary.  I would treat your next date like any other second or third date, without the “V-Day pressure” creeping in.  Maybe you’ll go to a comedy show, or maybe you’ll go play Connect Four at a bar.  If you want to go out with someone on Friday, great!  If not, great!  I wouldn’t buy into the hype when things are so fresh.  The best thing you can do, whether you go out on V-Day or not, is to simply say, “I’m really excited to see where things go.”  It’s honest, sweet, and simple.

Single people:

Do not fret!  Some people think that being single on Valentine’s Day is the kiss (or lack thereof, as the case may be) of death.  It’s not.  Do you know why?  You don’t have to pay a fortune for these fixed-priced menus, you won’t gain weight from eating the entire heart-shaped box of pecan clusters in one night, and you don’t have to read through all of the sappy Hallmark cards at CVS to try to pick just the right one.  This holiday can be what you make of it, and I encourage you not to make a big deal of it.  It’s just a day after all.  Go out like you normally would on a Friday night.  Have a ladies’ night or a guys’ night.  No need to make faces at all of the people in couples.  Instead, remember all of the blessings you have in your life… most importantly right now, your freedom.

Whatever you decide to do this Friday, stay true to yourself, and don’t let the pressure get the best of you.  If you’re with the right person, have a ball, and if you’re not, well, have a ball, too.  It’s Friday night, after all.  (Plus, for anyone who knows me, while I’m both a dating coach and a sucker for romance, my favorite 14th is actually in March.  I love Pi Day!  Any excuse to let my inner nerdom come out is okay with me!)

websize (5 of 6)TinyErika Ettin is the Founder of A Little Nudge, where she helps people stand out from the online dating crowd and have a rewarding experience. An archive of all of Erika’s columns is also available.  Want to connect with Erika?  Join her newsletter for updates and tips.