Celebrating Galentines and Valentines


photo by Sam Joyner

Picture made for Joyner on Valentine’s day by his girlfriend. The drawing was centered around Joyner’s love for astronomy and space.

Five years ago, freshman Gia Digiore walked into her fourth grade classroom at Strenstrum with her freshly made Valentine’s Day box. Googly eyes were plastered all over it and a pathway to candy traveled through its mouth.  

Some of Digiore’s favorite Valentine’s Day memories come from the fun of elementary school boxes that were used to collect candy from classmates and teachers.

“It was fun to be able to show my creativity through a box,” Digiore said. We would paint [our boxes] and put glitter on them.”

Digiore now celebrates Valentine’s Day with her friends, but she still cherishes the sentiment that came with the creation of the boxes. This year, her day consisted of surprising her friends with gifts at school and going out to dinner with them.

“I had lacrosse practice and got Crumbl Cookies after [with my friends],” Digiore said. “I was very happy with it.”

As students got older, they started to celebrate Valentine’s Day with friends or by making crafts, but the day is still closely associated with couples.

Junior Emmalys Caamano celebrated Valentine’s Day for a second year with her boyfriend who lives in Manhattan. Being surrounded by couples who were able to celebrate in-person was hard for Caamano, as she had to celebrate on a FaceTime call. Even so, she was able to make the day memorable.

“I couldn’t really do much since I’m in a long distance relationship. So I sent out a package to my boyfriend, Luke,” Caamano said. “It had a gingerbread cookie box and it had all types of goodies, so on FaceTime, we decided to build it together and it was really fun.”

Freshman Sam Joyner received a drawing from his artistically-inclined girlfriend the day of Valentine’s Day after buying her a box of chocolates. The drawing depicted Joyner’s fields of interest.

“It’s because I’m interested in space and astronomy so that was nice and [celebrating the day with her] was fun,” Joyner said.

On the other hand, freshman Ivy Browning was surprised when her soon-to-be boyfriend showed up to school with a bouquet of flowers and asked her out on Valentine’s Day. They met in band and were able to make plans after Valentine’s Day. 

“I thought it was crazy, I seriously couldn’t believe he asked me out,” Browning said. “I was ecstatic to be able to celebrate the day with him though.”

Sophomores Savannah Nguyen and Julia Register decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a group of three close friends rather than with a valentine, celebrating “Galentine’s Day” which comes from in the 2009 sitcom “Parks and Recreations.”

Register was the one who coordinated their Galentine’s picnic, and was inspired by a photo she found on Pinterest. Register and her four friends brought many snacks, including chocolate covered strawberries, Oreo truffles, fruits and chicken nuggets. 

Celebrating with friends comes with less pressure than having a date for the day; part of the reason many people choose to celebrate Galentines.

“I liked celebrating Galentines 100% better because it’s just better being with your friends instead of limiting yourself,” Register said. 

Sophomore Madalynn Flynn had a smaller gathering. She spent the day with her best friend and made a small picnic on her patio with a space heater and food from Chick-Fil-A.. Although she does not usually celebrate Valentine’s Day, this was a memorable change for Flynn.

“My friend completely surprised me, and I’m honestly happy about how I celebrated it because I wasn’t going to do anything special,” Flynn said. “I had no idea she would be bringing us Chick-Fil-A.”

While the fact that many people celebrate Valentine’s Day with the people they love remains true, some people don’t do much when it comes to Valentine’s Day.

Senior Olivia Caruso does not typically celebrate Valentine’s Day because she feels that there are other ways that you can show someone you love them. Caruso and her mom usually give each other cards and candies to show their love for each other, but “nothing over the top.” 

“If you love someone, you should give them gifts and love everyday and not just one day,” Caruso said. “I think that Valentine’s Day is a day to just show social media and people around you that you love someone.”

Celebrating or not celebrating the day, one can agree that Valentine’s Day celebrations come in many different sizes, events and relationships. 

“To me, Valentine’s Day can be whatever you want even if you don’t have someone to celebrate with,” junior Grace Catina said. “Sometimes it’s nice to just hang out with your family and spend time with the people you love.”