Do you think Valentine's Day is just for lovers? Not so. Many people who celebrate the heart-shaped holiday actually do it with their friends. One report published in US News even said that more than half of Americans shopping for Valentine's Day gifts will actually give them to someone other than a significant other, like a family member or friend.
Most people don't associate Valentine's Day with love so much as they do the hearts and flowers and red accents. It's a fun holiday you can easily use as an excuse to show your friends that you care.
With some friends, you might give a card to say "Happy Valentine's Day," while with others you might go all out with a big party. Here are some ideas for different ways to celebrate and inspire you to create your own unique experience.
My friends and I used to get together every February 14th to see a movie. It started out as a way to bond since we were all single and unattached. However, we kept it up for many years, and even included our significant others along in the celebration later.
Movies are great to see on Valentine's Day because some of the biggest holiday blockbusters are still around and the Academy Awards are right around the corner.
But if you don't feel like heading out to the theater, stay home and binge watch some great TV on Valentine's Day. A TV, some popcorn, and your pals can be just as fun as going out to the movies.
Give Back to Your Community
We spend the majority of the year being selfish and demanding gifts, so this Valentine's Day, why not spread the love to those in need? Call up a local soup kitchen, church, or community center to see how you can give back. Or check out our list of volunteer organizations that are always looking for help. Volunteering is a good way to meet new friends or bond with the ones you have. Make it a tradition. (So much better than flowers and candy.)
Or, how about putting a twist on the traditional Valentine's Day party by inviting friends over to do good for a local charity. Exchange envelopes that contain promises to volunteer with your friend in mind, or show them that you appreciate their personal struggle and make a donation to their favorite charity instead.
This is a particularly good idea if your friend has personal experience with a certain disease or cause. It shows your friend that you are aware of what is close to their heart, and that you care about the things that are important to them.
Craft nights are a great way to celebrate with your friends and kids. You'll keep them busy while you catch up on your scrapbooking or craft projects as well. Order a heart-shaped pizza from your local pizza place, and you're all set.
You could also do a variation of this in the weeks before Valentine's Day. Create a handmade Valentine's night and make some cards to send. Don't forget some snacks that follow the Valentine's Day theme. Cupcakes with pink frosting, anyone?
Dinner parties are great for a larger groups of friends, and Valentine's Day is the perfect time to get your single and coupled up friends together. Some couples skip Valentine's Day, which is perfectly okay. Others may want to pop in before heading out for a night on their own.
Your single friends, meanwhile, will appreciate the chance to hang out and have fun on a day where they might be feeling especially lonely. Have everyone bring a dish to pass in the theme of Valentine's Day, such as all heart-shaped items or everything in the colors of red and pink.
No Galentine's Day celebration is complete without a little pampering. Make your night all about pampering your body and nurturing your soul. This is especially important if you and your gal pals are in need of some R&R.
If you can't sneak away, see if a local spa can come to you. Home spa parties are one way to indulge in the comfort of your home. Treat your friends or have everyone chip in for the cost, and then enjoy.
Social Networking Valentine's Day Greetings
Not every Valentine's Day celebration needs to be complicated. Using Facebook or Twitter to wish your friend well on Valentine's Day is still a good way to show your love. There are also plenty of Valentine's Day e-cards available that will brighten your friend's day or just make a fun greeting yourself by sending a selfie.