Holiday How-To

Looking to celebrate your friends with a night of fun? Galentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to gather and toast to female friendship. Let us thank Leslie Knope — actress Amy Poehler’s character from NBC’s 2009-2015 show “Parks and Recreation” — for popularizing Feb. 13 as the day for “ladies celebrating ladies.”

Galentine’s Day is an ideal time to go all out with festive decorations. Set the scene with table décor such as a red or pink tablecloth and floral-scented candles and add paper plates and napkins sprinkled with tiny hearts. Since no tablespace is complete without a floral arrangement, visit a local florist or grocery store for fresh flowers and greenery; arrangements can even be made into an activity with the gals. Other decorations can include heart string banners, pink balloons, and heart-shaped confetti.

Now, for the activities. If your friends are fans of beauty products, try a makeup swap in which guests bring their new favorite products under $20 and trade with others; everyone gets to leave with new goodies. If you’re wanting to go the self-care route, indulge in at-home mani-pedis with press-on nails and gel manicure kits. Add luxurious face masks for a true spa experience.

My activity of choice is a rom-com movie marathon complete with “Mamma Mia!” “Sex and the City,” and “Burlesque.” You can even turn a movie night into karaoke night, depending on the soundtrack of your film selection.

Begin your Galentine’s Day menu with appetizers such as a creamy cheese fondue or a charcuterie board with meats, cheeses, crackers, and fruit, then build up to a heart-shaped pizza or pasta such as pesto fettuccini for the main course. Complete the meal with a decadent dessert such as caramel-infused brownies, strawberry cake pops, or ice cream sundaes piled high with sprinkles, cherries, and hot fudge sauce. For drinks, this is a great chance to create your own festive cocktail or mocktail. Feel like sticking to the classics? You can’t go wrong with Champagne or Cosmopolitans.

Let the perfect playlist be the finishing touch for your Galentine’s Day party. From Taylor Swift to Beyoncé, Adele to Ariana Grande, Janet Jackson to Lizzo, put on some tunes from your favorite female singer, turn the volume up, and let loose with your best gals.

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