Marking the unofficial but recognized day of Galentines on Feb. 13, you can extend your celebration of friendships throughout the week of Valentine’s. This alternative or bonus holiday, depending on your Valentine’s Day plans, originated from “Parks and Recreation,” an NBC sitcom. The main protagonist of the show sets the bar high by showering her friends with gifts such as hand-crocheted flower pens, customized portraits made from the bottle of each person’s favorite soda, and a long personalized essay of why she values their friendship as the cherry on top. All of this just goes to show that you don’t have to break the bank to have a genuinely good time. Social media’s portrayal of holidays might make it seem like you need to do a lot, but if you’re truly in the presence of good company, then anything from simple to extravagant will suffice.

Here are some customizable ideas to take inspiration from, catering to going all out in an affordable and doable manner. 

Affirmations Bar 

If you’re always rooting for your girls, then this one’s for you! After purchasing a pack of fillable plastic hearts online, candy of your choice, and cute paper boxes, you’re going to brainstorm a list of categories that you believe will benefit your friends in affirming themselves. You know your friends best, so take some time to reflect and pick your top five from the list. A couple of pillars you can consider are motivation, encouragement, comfort and grace. Take some creative liberty on how you want to label the exterior of your hearts; you can simply write it with a marker or go as far as painting the category on it. Once you’ve done that, browse online for affirmations that fall into the categories you’ve picked out and place them in a Google document. The next step is up to you; printing your affirmations and cutting them accordingly will be easier, but if you want a more immersive experience, then feel free to handwrite them. 

Reaching the final steps, place your affirmations inside their corresponding categorized hearts, and fill the boxes as you see fit. Don’t forget to include the candy in the boxes, or you could just have an individual bowl for that separately. You’re all done, but now it comes down to your presentation of it. You could frame a letter explaining the niche — when life gets you down, the affirmations are here to lift you back up, or you could give a dramatic, slightly cringe monologue that will get your friends laughing but appreciating your efforts. This activity might not be the craziest, wildest night you’ve ever had, but it’s wholesome in letting all of your friends know you care. 

B.Y.O.B — Bring your own board (Galentine’s Edition)

Whether it’s a pizza board, candy board, cocktail board, or a simple charcuterie board, the options are endless! Take a detour to Pinterest and look for inspiration in what others have done. If nothing catches your eye, consider looking at vision boards to try and emulate the vibe. Consider what you have at your disposal. If you have wine bottles lingering around your kitchen setup, or you have an ample amount of dining dollars left to spend a concerning amount on candy, then you’ve got everything you need to contribute to a great time.

Decorating miniature cakes

If you’re a fan of British bake-off shows and a connoisseur of sweet treats, indulge your creative touch as a cake decorator for the night! In preparation, you’ll first need to make a trip to your local grocery store. The most convenient option is to buy an inexpensive pre-made cake and explore the baking aisle and its grandiose selection of sprinkles and frosting. Ideally, you are aiming to make this cake go from “rags to riches” in its appearance. If you’re feeling fancy though, you can also attempt making a cake from scratch!