I love a good party. Birthday parties, Halloween parties, Christmas parties—I’m a big fan. But it’s always around this time of year—when the holiday season is behind us and the celebrating dwindles—that I start to get a little bummed. Getting amped up in January can be tough, so why not find cause to celebrate!? Here are 15 everyday parties you should throw this year, because life is too short to celebrate according to someone else’s schedule.
1. Galentine’s Day Party
Don’t have a Valentine this year? No sweat! Grab your girls and gather ’round the heart-shaped piñata for Galentine’s Day: a gal-pal only version of the lovey-dovey holiday. Do a movie marathon (slasher films are great if you’re feeling particularly unromantic), go crazy on chips and guac, and kick back with your girlfriends. Take the party as an opportunity to thank your besties for their friendship, and tell them how much they mean to you—because last time I checked, a night at home with all your buddies was way more fun than a blind date and a mediocre meal.
2. Women’s Health Pink Party
One in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lives, so it’s extremely important to check yourself regularly for any lumps or abnormalities. Not sure where to start? What better way to remind everyone about breast health than to throw a soiree! Organizations like Checkyourboobies.org will help you coordinate an exam party, and will even send out an instructor and survivor to demonstrate. Get creative with pink decor and foods, and maybe even some boob balloons.
3. Favorite Things Party
This party is a great alternative to buying birthday or Christmas gifts for all your friends. Invite everyone over for a favorite things party, where each person brings five of their favorite item (set your own price limit, but under $5 usually works well). Write every guest’s name on a five different slips of paper, then mix them up in a bowl. Have everyone draw five different names, and distribute their gifts to those five people. It’s fun to see what your friends come up with, and everyone leaves with a little something special.
4. Stock the Bar Mixer
Maybe you’re a master at mixing up a Manhattan. Maybe you’re completely inept when it comes to shaking and stirring your spirits. Whichever it is, a cocktail swap is a great way to share recipes and show off your skills. Have everyone bring the goods to make his or her drink of choice, then take turns mixing them up for each other. Don’t forget to have everyone bring copies of their recipe to leave behind and share with guests. If you’re new to your home, make it a “Stock the Bar” party, where everyone leaves the ingredients for their creations behind for your wet bar.
5. Self Defense Party
Women’s self-defense is no joke, and is also something we see far too little of in public education. To remedy this, get your friends together for a training party! Organizations like the YWCA offer classes for women aged 13 and older. And let’s be real—what’s more fun than feeling strong and empowered by your own strength.
6. Sock Exchange
Think Dirty Santa, but with socks. Have everyone bring a wrapped pair of the craziest, softest, whatever-est socks they can find. Draw numbers, and have number One choose the first gift. Number Two can either steal that gift, or open a new one. Once all the numbers have chosen, number One gets to go again! Socks are locked on the third steal.