Here's the thing: I really like my friends. I really like planning a fun party. And I have little to no shame.
Meaning, when I marched myself into a restaurant on Saturday night armed with my own candles, centerpieces, and placecards, I ignored the funny stares and chose to focus on the reason I throw ridiculous parties in the first place: The people I love deserve to be told so.
Or, in this case, shown.
Inspired by Leslie Knope and her penchant for celebrating, I threw the girls in my book club my own take on Galentine's Day this weekend, complete with breakfast-for-dinner and lots and lots and lots of pink. I spent much of last week loading up on Target Valentine's goodies and painting tote bags (great tutorial found here), then got to the restaurant a few minutes early to set up. A friend made cookies, and each girl brought a Valentine's-themed gift worth $5 to $10 for a small gift exchange.
I won't speak for my friends, but Galentine's Day might be my new favorite tradition. I loved showing a few of the women in my life how much they mean to me, loved taking Valentine's Day and making it fun and special for a group that has made my time in Tallahassee such a blessing.
We laughed and ate and showered each other with gifts (which, let's face it, is fun for everyone). We wore red and pink and talked a lot about The Hunger Games and Downton Abbey. We showed the waitress and our fellow restaurant patrons a good time, so much so that when one of us nearly burned the place down (thanks to my aforementioned candles and a dropped menu), no one seemed to care all that much. In fact, the waitress said we made her night. I'm convinced celebration does that to people... even to people that are mere observers.
Friends deserve to be celebrated. They deserve to be shown love and appreciation. Sometimes, that love means big gestures or small, silent prayers or cards in the mail.
And sometimes, that love comes in the form of pink striped tote bags and delicious pancakes.
That's my kind of celebration.