As with last year, I will be very honest about how I feel about Valentine’s Day. I am a Valentine’s Day Scrooge. I think it’s a Hallmark-created holiday full of needless obligation to buy needless things.

happy consumer driven.jpgBut that’s very negative and I don’t tend to be a negative person. So what do I prefer to focus on rather than Valentine’s Day? Two TV-created holidays that bookend Valentine’s Day.

These are Galentine’s Day and Anti-Valentine’s Day (which I’ve renamed Love Day because it’s happier). What are these exactly? Well, if you would like to shun Valentine’s Day and instead celebrate holidays coined by funny fictional characters rather than those based on a Saint who probably wasn’t thinking people would honor him by buying little teddy bears with hearts pinned to their bellies that say “I wub you,” then these two holidays are for you.

Galentine’s Day, February 13, 2018

galentine's day 2

During a 2010 episode of the great comedy, Parks and Recreation, the perpetual ray of bright sunshine and waffle-loving Leslie Knope decided it was time to celebrate something very important – friendship. She gathered together her best gal-friends for brunch and games. And thus Galentine’s Day was born.

“Every February 13, my ladyfriends 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.”

– Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

The creators of Parks and Recreation may not have known their fictional holiday would become so popular, but it has. On February 13th Galentine’s Day memes flood Facebook and Twitter. (I’m a culprit. I think Galentine’s Day is a fantastic holiday.)

Of course, no holiday is complete without a book.

How about Be My Galentine: Celebrating Badass Female Friendship by Alicia Clancy  (Author),‎ Samantha Farrar (Illustrator)

be my galentine.jpg

I have no idea if this book is any good, but the title fits pretty well and I like the description.

And if you’re looking for other bookish ways to celebrate Galentine’s Day Book Riot kindly provided a wonderful list of suggestions to give the best gals in your life, including some of my favorites, The Handmaid’s Tale and We Should All Be Feminists.  Or check out this list from The Hub.

Yep, if you have to give a gift, it really should be a book. And if you’re just learning about Galentine’s Day, don’t worry. Like Valentine’s Day, you can celebrate it on a weekend if it falls on a weekday. I’m sure Leslie Knope would agree with me on that one. So call your friends get your plans ready for Saturday!

Anti-Valentine’s Day (or Love Day), February 15, 2018

happy love dayNow, I’ve long turned my nose up at Valentine’s Day, not because I don’t think it’s a nice sentiment to tell people you love them, but because, like Christmas and many other holidays, it has become about things. And I have enough things. Thus spawned Love Day.

Technically, Love Day was coined by The Simpsons as a mockery of Valentine’s Day, which is why I love it. Based on the TV show conception, it’s supposed to be sometime in the summer (a holiday created by a corporation to make money in the dwindling summer sales market).

That said, I’ve co-opted the idea of Love Day, not as a mock marketing scam, but as an anti-marketing scam and moved it to the day after Valentine’s Day. It’s a day only my family celebrates. And by celebrate I mean we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day and joke about how much we love Love Day instead. And we tell each other we love each other. It’s kind of nice. (If you want to learn more about my conception of Love Day, check out my blog from last year on the topic.)

However, while my family may be the only one that calls February 15th Love Day, this anti-Valentine’s Day concept is not novel. There are countless Anti-Valentine’s Day sites and organizations and even anti-Valentine’s Day parties, cards, games, gifts.

This is a very funny wiki on how to celebrate anti-Valentine’s Day.

Of course, there are  also anti-Valentine’s Day book lists, including

Whether you choose to adopt the simple celebration of Love Day or the more seemingly aggressive approach of anti-Valentine’s Day, just know you don’t have to do what everyone else does and be a traditional celebrator of Valentine’s Day. There are other options for those of us who dare to be different!

And, from now on, I’m only celebrating holiday’s created by fictional TV characters. Bring on Festivus!