Galentine’s Day

For those of you not in the know, Parks and Recretion’s, fierce leading lady, Leslie Knope is the creator of Galentine’s Day, the world’s best holiday. Galentine’s Day is observed the day before Valentine’s on February 13th. It is a day devoted to ladies celebrating ladies. Delicious food should also feature. Watch everyone’s favourite optimist explain it here.

We celebrate mothers, fathers, various religious holidays, but never friendship. Galentine’s fills that void. Galentine’s is not an alternative to Valentine’s Day or an anti-party. Instead participants get to celebrate two straight days of love! And isn’t that what world needs more of?

Galentine’s Day coincidentally lands at a symbolic time for me. It marks nearly one year since I moved to Wellington and I felt the need to celebrate. Hosting a Galentine’s Day party in my brand new home, Honey Cottage, seemed the perfect way to mark the occasion. Especially since I have finally finished building my new flatpack furniture (two of the guests actually did it, I just watched…).

The guests at my Galentine’s party are all the gals who have made Wellington a home for me. As I said to them during my Galentine’s Day commencement speech, without them I would probably not be living here any more, and I certainly would not have experienced half as much joy and love as I have in the past year. I invited people across my friend groups, to ultimately create a guest list comprising people I work with, to a friend I have known since I was 5. It was a thrill to celebrate and thank every individual on this special day.

Each guest has helped me in countless ways over the past year: welcomed me into their home, watched Pride and Prejudice with me, taken me out for brunch, shared deep and meaningful conversations, helped me with urgent tasks at work, never made me go to a networking event alone, worn various matching costumes, done bar admissions, helped me move my possessions into a new house, and become my second family.

My love for this group of gals is evidenced by my standing in the kitchen the whole night before preparing food, cleaning the house like Martha Stewart and sparing no cost to treat them. Leslie enjoyed breakfast food for Galentine’s because she loves waffles. I decided to host a tea party because I love cucumber sandwiches and Early Grey tea. I made cheese rolls, cucumber sandwiches and my famous hazelnut, chocolate and berry meringue torte. Everyone made contributions for a mean cheese board and more importantly all RSVP-ed yes.

My favourite part of the night was when I presented each guest with a personalised thank you card. I believe in sharing my feelings and letting people know I value them. I also believe society does not utilise handwriting enough. Even though I felt self-conscious giving my friends small essays on why they were amazing, the look on their faces as they read my words made it all worthwhile.

We sat together and effortlessly enjoyed each other’s company for the rest of the evening. This in itself seemed an impressive feat considering two of us had been assigned urgent work tasks to complete that evening. However, due to a flawless communication system (my live updates on our Facebook group), an uber ride, and one friend picking up another from the office and rescuing the strawberries I left in the work fridge, we all managed to come together and enjoy the evening and celebrate our friendship. As one guest so fittingly dubbed the evening: #overcomingadversity.

In a lot of ways that was the tone of the evening for me. Moving to Wellington seemed daunting and lonely a year ago, because it was. However, one of the things I am proudest of in my life so far is creating a group of women from work, church, and primary school who are honorary family and kindred spirits for life.

Extra for experts:

Watch:

Episode 16, Season 2 – Parks and Recreation

Do:

Host your own party

Take the time to write a thank you note to your gals

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