• Mia Brabham

Fun & Free Ways to Virtually Celebrate Galentine's Day

If you’re anything like me, holidays are a huge bright spot I look forward to. This year, how we celebrate them and who we celebrate with might be looking a litttttle different.

Listen. I love my mans. I love Valentine’s Day. But we’ve been hunkered down inside for 11 months and have celebrated every holiday together.

Cue Galentine's Day.

As we grow older and busier, friendships become more sacred and intentional. Maintaining platonic relationships is just as crucial and meaningful as maintaining romantic ones, and it’s our job to make sure we fight to hold onto the people we love — especially in a time as crazy and distant as this one.

With winter and a pandemic still at our collective doorstep, the list of things I’m growing numb to and anxious-ridden by has expanded Yes, we’re all tired of rotating between our cell phone screens, laptop screens, and television screens, but maybe it’s time to put a new spin on virtual hangouts — starting with our girlfriends.

These virtually-based ideas for celebrating are perfect for Galentine’s Day – which is February 13, by the way – and can become recurring ways to stay connected with our oldest pals. As someone who has moved all over the place, these are genuine, tried-and-true ways to stay in touch — whether you’re long-distance friends or right next door.

Here’s how to freshen up your friendships and your Galentine’s Day while remaining inside and protecting those at risk in your community.

Take An International Trip . . .Virtually

Yes, I took a trip to Mexico with four of my girlfriends. No, we don’t even have to step on a plane! You can create an international itinerary for a virtual day trip or afternoon to a destination of your choosing without ever leaving your living room.

Research or come up with a creative list of (non-appropriative) activities you can do that are related to — or originated in — your select country or city.

Let me tell you, there’s a YouTube video for everything. We walked through Mexico City, learned how to make the Mexican native margarita, took a quick Spanish lesson, watched a performance of Jarabe Tapatío or “The Mexican Hat Dance” (and learned it too), and supported local businesses by ordering take-out from Mexican restaurants in our areas.

For a fun touch, you can even make and email a decorative itinerary on the beginner-friendly graphic design site Canva for free. So hop on Zoom or Google Meet with a cocktail and enjoy your trip!

Make A Meal Together

A few weeks ago my friend and I decided to make birria quesa tacos together and it was a total hoot. We met while working together in Los Angeles and one of our favorite memories is driving an hour to try what was rumored to be the best birria food truck around. Since we live in separate cities now, we decided to attempt to make these time-consuming (but well worth it) tacos together! We shopped for all the ingredients a few dances in advance, chose a date to make them, texted throughout the process, and FaceTimed to show each our finished product and chat over dinner. Cooking something you’ve both never made before is even more exciting, and it’s a fun memory you won’t soon forget.

Throw A PowerPoint Party

If you’ve never been to a PowerPoint party, they are bonkers in the best way. A group of at least four friends get together to do a short presentation about something they’re passionate about or interested in, whether it’s the best items at Trader Joe’s, the British Monarchy, aliens, awful horror movie tropes, or why Reputation is Taylor Swift's best album (I said it).

Drinking, themed costumes, and asking questions are encouraged. It’s incredibly informational but also just fun. It’s perfect for a close-knit friend group or a smattering of friends you don’t know well yet but want to. Think of this as a deportation from your average (and sometimes dreaded) catch-up or small talk.

Views a la Drake

Earlier on in the pandemic, my friend Shelby and I alternated texting each other photos of our view or POV of the day — whether it was an outdoor daycation, a picture from my apartment balcony, or working at our desks.

If you’re too busy for a full-on Galentine’s Day celebration this year, you can swap views with your bestie or the group chat so it feels like you’re right in the same room. Wake up for the sunrise and send photos of your perspective, or bake a yummy dessert and send photos each other’s way. It’s actually kind of exciting to physically see life from their eyes rather than just explaining back and forth what’s going on in your world. Plus, it’s way more personal than Instagram!

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