In my house, holidays are celebrated based on how important they are to the kids.

Christmas, Easter, Halloween — the big ones that involve gifts and candy — are obligatory. I don’t mind those because they give the kids good memories — and like I always say, they’ll choose my home some day so I may as well hedge my bets now.

The lesser Hallmark holidays such as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I’m not really into. I don’t need my kids to celebrate me for bringing them into this world. And don’t even get me started on faux holidays such as Sweetest Day. I just don’t like the commercialization of affection. And seriously, have you seen the price of cards lately? I could buy a book cheaper. No thank you. If I want candy in February I’ll buy it myself half-off after Thursday.

If I sound crumudgeonly, I assure you I’m not. I just find it more important to acknowledge the everyday things that make me appreciate the people in my life and not wait for the calendar to tell me to.

To that end I’ll put aside my policy, for now, and celebrate the fakest of fake holidays —Galentine’s Day. Never heard of it? It sprung from an episode of the show “Parks and Rec” where “ladies celebrate ladies.” I can get behind the idea of celebrating some ladies in my life. This is by no means a complete list, but a few that deserve a shout out.

To my bestie and hetero life-mate (don’t judge) Erica. We’ve been friends for so long we can’t mention it because then people will figure out how old we are. This is the friend I can have an entire conversation with in just one look. I have nothing but admiration for my friend. She’s raised two kids on her own since their father died from cancer when they were just 4 and 8 years old. After putting aside schooling when she started her family, she recently returned and is in a nursing program. I can imagine how intimidating it must be to return to school as an adult. I still can picture in my mind, a couple evening classes I had in college where everyone sat and glared daggers at the “old people” who sat in the front row and asked questions that kept us in class longer. (Yes, if I could go back and smack my younger self I would.) Every class she aces and every scholarship she wins feels like my victory as well as hers. She’s killing it.

My friend Monika. We met through a few interviews I did with her for the paper, and now regularly communicate via social media. I’m the walking cliché of someone who finds it awkward to make friends as an adult, so this is a welcome addition to my life. Monika is a fierce advocate for survivors of childhood assault. She’s made the decision to speak out about her own process of healing from trauma she experienced as a child and regularly contributes to forums to share her wisdom. Monika is the dictionary definition of brave because she is able to put aside her fear of judgment and serve her heart up on a platter for anyone to see. That deserves celebration.

My other bestie, Debbie, gets my Galentine’s Day seal of approval for being the friend I can literally pick up a conversation with any time out of nowhere and it’s like we never left off. If you have a friend like this, don’t take her for granted. That friend is the one who sticks by you even when they’re the one who always initiates the conversation and you’re the lame one who replies “I was just about to text you’... Debbie is the friend I’ve known for about 20 years and never exchanged a cross word with — that’s invaluable. Get a Debbie if you can. And give her a hug even if hugs make you feel funny.

My other Kim. A must-have in every friend roster. Kim is the friend who makes up a nickname for you the same day you meet. She makes hilarious (stupid) memes of the two of you, then cracks herself up at how awesome she is. Kim appreciates you when you bring her pizza rolls, so she reciprocates by letting you drink all her margaritas at the street concert. If you can get a Kim, add her to your collection as well. Go out to lunch with her when she texts even if you didn’t take a shower and look gross.

So, in retrospect some fake holidays aren’t so bad at all. Maybe I’ll have to bump this one up on my legitimacy list. I can never tell my friends enough how much I appreciate them. 

Kim Shute can be reached at (815) 879-5200 or ntprinceton@newstrib.com Follow her on Twitter at NT_Princeton2

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Bureau-Putnam Bureau Chief Contact: (815) 879-5200 ntprinceton@newstrib.com Covering Bureau and Putnam Counties.

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