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If you’ve never heard of Palentine’s Day, you’ve been missing out. When the sweep of commercialised Valentine’s Day storms in at the start of February, we’re either on the winning (#relationshipgoals end) or losing end (#bridgetjoneslife). There’s a misleading stigma surrounding Valentine’s day as a Hallmark holiday for couples only.
In the last 10 years, thanks to the rise of social media networks such as of Facebook and Instagram, Valentine’s Day has boomed into a parading holiday of ‘who did it better’. These posts, tweets, messages, and other online displays of affection ultimately leave an inferior taste in our mouths for not ‘celebrating’ the celebration, or being ashamed of going it alone. There is no shame in not having a Valentine, and Palentine’s Day is a palatable alternative that even the most anti-Valentine can get their teeth into:
What is it?
Who is the Serena to your Blair? The Samwise to your Frodo, the Woody to your Buzz? Palentine’s Day is 24 hours celebrated with a friend, or ‘pal’ you’re not romantically involved with. It celebrates platonic love, the simplest affections of friendship. Like ‘Bromance’, ‘Galpals’ or ‘Galentine’s (to quote Parks and Recreation)’, you celebrate with a friend or friends (like you would do any other day), it just has a nice label.
Why Celebrate it?
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, it’s touching to see men and women embrace romance, searching for the right card and perfect present: perhaps he’ll like glitter, no, she hates sequins, is red too cheesy for Valentine’s Day? Is my body weight in chocolate and alcohol enough? Do I need another novelty box of chocolates shaped like an animal? Maybe I should cook…is she vegetarian or vegan?
Copious and unimaginable amounts of effort go into making one day you would otherwise treat as an average day, the most romantic it can be. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with celebrating Valentine’s Day with gifts and ideas, but it’s refreshing to have the choice to be alone or not romantically attached. The beauty of Palentine’s Day is: you can embrace all the food, chocolate, alcohol and gifts, but there are no expectations attached.
Why Embrace Palentine’s Day?
If Palentine’s Day is for you, you should celebrate it. Question is, how? True, it may be just like any other day but with a fancy title, so why not mix things up a bit and do something out of your/ your friend’s comfort zone.
Volunteer – Either at your local residential care home, animal shelter or charity, in the name of Palentine’s Day, be a friend to a great cause. Help someone in need, see if you can volunteer at your nearest hospital, sponsor an animal, or provide stimulating conversation to elders who may not have the pleasure of company.
What’s in the Box – Like a Valentine’s Day gift for a friend, but there are no romantic rules. Inside a box, big or small, wrapped in paper, painted or personally decorated – fill it with a theme of inexpensive gifts. Perhaps a kit for a homemade cinema, spa box or book basket. The choice is entirely up to you. A homemade box of baked treats is perfect if you plan to eat the day away, or a collection of books or games will keep you preoccupied for the full 24 hours. Your little gesture may just make someone’s day with an unconventional Palentine’s Day gift.
Have a Heart-To-Heart – The longest and most important relationship you will have on this earth is the relationship with yourself, and if you’re not happy about it in any way, it’s time to have a heart-to-heart. Write yourself a letter or record a video. Tell yourself anything, about where you are in life or where you want to be. Or tell a friend. Likewise, lending your ear to your pal could be just what they need.
On average, 61% of consumers celebrate Valentine’s Day – both men and women. Find comfort in the thought you represent one of the 39% going against the grain. There’s no expectations on this day and the perfect way to say ‘you’ve got a friend in me’. Happy Palentine’s.