The ultimate recipe for celebrating Galentine’s Day from ‘Parks and Recreation’

Leslie Knope invented this lady-positive holiday, and you will have a blast observing it.

There’s no doubt “Parks and Recreation” influenced the mindset of an entire generation with the invention of Treat Yo Self Day, “the best day of the year.” That’s not the only original holiday “Parks” gave us that’s worth celebrating in real life, however; according to protagonist Leslie Knope, “the best day of the year” is actually Feb. 13, Galentine’s Day.

In Leslie’s own words, “Every Feb. 13, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it breakfast style. Ladies celebrating ladies. It’s like Lilith Fair, minus the angst. Plus, frittatas.” Also, it’s “wonderful, and it should be a national holiday.”

I happen to agree that Galentine’s Day should be a national holiday, but you don’t need government approval to celebrate it. Here’s the recipe for the perfect Galentine’s Day.

Your best lady friends

Feb. 13 is all about ladies celebrating ladies, so grab your closest female friends — no boys allowed! Your party can be as small as just you and your best friend or as large as a group in the double digits, if you can find a time that fits everyone’s schedules. Let your invitees know if they can or should bring along a friend of their own.

You don’t want to be overloaded, but this can be a great way to meet friendly and fun women. As far as invitations go, the creative can make fancy invites with their favorite cursive font, the tech-savvy can make a private Facebook event and the no-nonsense can send out a few text messages. Galentine’s Day is what you make it and what suits your group of friends best.

Breakfast food

Eating breakfast food is in the definition of the holiday, which is not surprising considering the waffle-loving Leslie Knope is its creator. This doesn’t mean you have to get up early to celebrate, though; brunch and breakfast-for-dinner are both great options as well. It would truly be a shame to limit one of the best categories of food to only the a.m. While breakfast food is the necessary cuisine, you still have options. On-campus dining halls have got you covered if you’re having an early-bird celebration. Catalyst Cafe is another, more flexible on-campus option, which serves breakfast all day. If you’re looking for an off-campus location, The Broadway Diner is just a short walk from campus (and also across the street from a park; Leslie Knope would be so proud). Of course, you can always home cook the meal as well.

Customized Valentine’s cards

Leslie Knope wrote personalized 5,000-word essays for each of her friends on why they’re so awesome. Maybe you’d rather let a humorous Internet valentine do the same for significantly less work. Either way, nothing lights up someone’s day like reading a message, no matter the length, about why they are loved. Let them know the qualities you adore about them, thank them for the times they’ve been there for you and throw in an inside joke for good measure. Internet valentines can also be a way to show off how much you know about your friends’ interests — there’s some for everyone, from “Star Wars” to history and science.

Homemade gifts

This is the time to break out your Pinterest board of homemade craft ideas. Here are some inspirational examples of gifts Leslie Knope gave: bouquets of hand-crocheted flower pens, mosaic portraits of her friends’ faces made with crushed bottles of their favorite diet soda and needlepoint pillows with her friends’ faces on them next to the leading newspaper headline from the day they were born. These gifts are all over-the-top, as to be expected from Knope. You can take some basic elements of those gifts and apply them to less ridiculous gifts: the use of flowers, pictures that include the giftee, anything sewn or crocheted. Leslie also has her mind in the right place with making personalized versions of the same basic gift idea for each guest; that way, everyone gets something unique, but there’s no favoritism in terms of gift effort or price.

Girl-positive tunes

If brunch is at your own place or you’re all hanging out afterwards, you’re going to want a sick playlist of lady-positive tracks to be the soundtrack of your gathering. Check out some of our suggestions:

A great love story

Leslie makes her mother tell the story of how she fell in love with a courageous stranger who saved her life and then never saw him again every year for Galentine’s Day. Even if your tales aren’t as dramatic, a good love story is a staple of the get-together. This can be anything from asking a taken attendee how their relationship is going or how it started to sharing your celebrity crushes. Don’t forget the whole point of Galentine’s Day: love can be platonic as well! Don’t be afraid to share a beautiful story about friendship.

Your favorite “Parks and Recreation” episodes

What better way to celebrate a “Parks”-invented holiday than by watching your favorite episodes of the show? Some recommendations: “Galentine’s Day” is a must, of course. The holiday returns in “Operation Ann” as well. “Leslie and Ben,” “Halloween Surprise” and “April and Andy’s Fancy Party” are perfect for a romantic-themed choice. If you’re looking for comedic genius, “The Fight,” “The Comeback Kid” and “Pawnee Rangers” are your best bets.

Have a fabulous Galentine’s Day, and remember, “what's important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn't matter, but work is third.”

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