Girlfriend Celebrations - Because Girlfriends Make Life Better

Six Super Holiday Girls Night Ideas

Do you have your December girls night on the calendar? Wondering what you can do that’s fun and meaningful? Never fear, GirlfriendCelebrations is here with SIX fabulous ways to have fun with your gal pals during the busy holiday season. Give yourself permission to plan a girlfriend get-together during the holidays and use this special time to show your appreciation to the friends who love you!

Photo by Calvin Crest via flickr
Photo by Calvin Crest via flickr

Wrap and Greet

Don’t say you’re too busy to gather with your girlfriends: Take those holiday chores and do them together! Women tend to be super-busy during the holidays. But it is possible to get things done while you’re having fun. Invite the girls over to write out holiday greeting cards together (party plan here), or have a wrapping party. Everyone brings presents to wrap, along with some wrapping supplies. You’ll have a variety of colorful papers to choose from and you’ll be able to chat while you wrap.


Do some good with your girlfriends! Decorate a Christmas tree for an elderly person. Adopt a family, go shopping together, wrap and deliver gifts, then reward yourselves with a dinner out. Schedule an Out of the Cold party to help the homeless. Or, do some crafting and giving. See our Green Holiday Parties article for some holiday crafts you can make with recycled materials, then deliver to a nursing home, hospital or anyone who needs some holiday cheer.

Get Outside

Yes, really. When was the last time you went sledding (not just watched the kids) or participated in a snowball fight? Arrange a cross-country ski outing, snowperson contest, ice skating event, or Christmas caroling for your girlfriend group. Certainly, some of these activities may seem a bit silly for grown women, but isn’t that the point? If we can’t let loose around our girlfriends, then we’re not really living!

Prep for Parties

Beautifying yourself for holiday parties or New Year’s Eve just got a lot more fun! Have a Costume Jewelry Swap (see our Accessory Swap Party for ideas) or have a spa night (either at a spa or at home) for manicures, pedicures and facials. You’ll feel *much* more beautiful surrounded by girlfriend support!

Jazz up the Usual

Old habits die hard. Many girlfriend groups have a cookie exchange every year, or a holiday get-together with a “Secret Santa” or ornament exchange. These tried-and-true ideas are fun, but why not inject a little imagination into your old standby events? For example:

  • Instead of a cookie exchange, try a side dish or appetizer recipe exchange. Bring enough for everyone to taste, and copies of the recipe. You’ll find something to impress that mother-in-law of yours!
  • Instead of a Secret Santa, try our Pink Elephant Gift Exchange, which puts a girly twist on the traditional white elephant. Find all the details and rules here. You can have everyone bring pink gifts, set up rules such as “chocolate only,” or compliment your girlfriend before stealing her gift.
  • Add some connecting activities to your soiree. Here’s a simple game: Each girlfriend writes down her a) favorite holiday tradition, b) worst Christmas present or c) favorite holiday memory on a slip of paper, Draw the slips out of a stocking and guess which girlfriend goes with which answer. You’ll have a few laughs and learn something about each other too.

Just Talk

If you’re feeling stressed and obsessed about all your holiday chores, try chilling out with Girltalk …Taking it Deeper™. Our November/December Girltalk gathering is about “Guilt-Free Holidays”. Your girlfriends will appreciate you taking the time to organize this get-together that gives each friend a chance to be heard. And, it could be the start of a monthly ritual that revolutionizes your approach to girls night! Download this month’s guide here and download the Guide to Great Girltalking here.


Holiday fun is not about gifts, and it’s not about impressing your friends. It is about doing and being, remembering and laughing (and, probably, eating and drinking!). We’d love it if you’d share your girlfriend holiday plans in the comments. Happy Holidays, Girlfriends!

Editor’s note: This article first appeared on GIrlfriendCelebrations in 2008 with the title Five Great Holiday Girls Nights. We jazzed it up a bit for 2009. Hope you enjoyed it! Read the rest of this entry »

Girls Night for Chari-Tea

When was the last time you really felt relaxed? We had the opportunity to treat our local girlfriends to a melt-your-cares away, relaxation filled evening, and help out a great cause while we were doing it. Thanks to our friends at Johnson & Johnson, our Girls Night for Chari-Tea was a success.

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When Johnson & Johnson asked us to hold a cause party to help preview their new body care line, we were very interested. After all, Johnson & Johnson is a brand we trust and respect. They’ve been taking care of us since we were babies! And they’ve now introduced a new body care line focused on relaxation and rejuvenation. J&J has asked select bloggers around the country to hold cause parties to introduce this new line. Cause parties are a great way to get together with your girlfriends! At a cause party, guests bring a donation to a charity, or “cause” of your choice. In this case, we decided to have our party to benefit the Northern Illinois Food Bank, which feeds the hungry here in our home state. Our girlfriends brought donations of both food and money, and Johnson & Johnson generously made a donation as well.

J&J also provided some nice amenities to make our party go more smoothly, from cute conversation starters to tie to the stems of our glasses, to reusable totes filled with their body care products, which were provided to all the guests as “goodie bags” at the end of the night.

In keeping with our theme of relaxation, we held our cause party at Teas and Toes, a teahouse and foot sanctuary in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. Teas and Toes provided a tea tasting, allowing our girlfriends to sample six beautiful and delicious teas including roobios, green, black, white and herbal teas. Making tea is an art and our hostess Hazel definitely has mastered it. In addition, each girlfriend was treated to a mini reflexology session and a chair massage. We definitely felt pampered, and can’t wait to return to this peaceful retreat. What an indulgence! Check out our video recap:

All in all, we really appreciated the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate with our girlfriends, while collecting donations for a very important cause and being able to send our friends home with some lovely products. Thank you, Johnson&Johnson!

Have you had a cause party with your girlfriends? We’d love to hear about it. Read the rest of this entry »

Now Open: The Girlfriendly Goodies Shop!

Do you believe, as we do, that Girlfriends Make Life Better™? Well, now you can proclaim it to the world with your t-shirt, water bottle, coffee mug, and more. Yes, our Girlfriendly Goodies Shop is finally open on CafePress! Three cute designs let girlfriends of all ages show their solidarity with their gal pals. Whether you like chilling with martinis, cozying up with a cup of coffee, or sharing an ice cream sundae with your best friends, you’ll find the right way to make a fashion statement.

You’ve been asking for t-shirts and we’re super excited to be bringing you so many great style options. From spaghetti tanks to fitted tees to organic cotton to baseball-style long-sleeved tees to hoodies, there’s a shirt to fit every body.

And, keep in mind, holiday gift-giving is just around the corner. With everything under $40, and most items under $30, you’re sure to find a girl-friendly gift or two.

So, click on over to and take a look. Let us know if you like what you see. We really do like to hear from you! Read the rest of this entry »

Need a Girlfriend Getaway? Win One of These!

Wouldn’t you love to give your best friend (and yourself) a girlfriend getaway for the holidays? Now that would be the ultimate girlfriend gift—but it may seem way out of reach in the current economy.  To help girlfriends “get away,” our very own contributor Casey Wohl, founder of  the Girls Getaway Guide, has announced The Getaway Girl’s® third annual “12 Days ‘til Christmas” holiday promotion—a chance to make your travel wishes come true! Visit the Girls Getaway Guide online at to sign up for more than $7,000 in fabulous giveaways.  The winners will be selected on each of the 12 business days starting December 8, with the Grand Prize selected on December 25. Look what you can win:

Dec. 8 ICE! VIP Package - 4 tickets to ICE! & gift bag; Value: $250

Dec. 9 Michael Kors Designer Travel Bag; Value: $348

Dec. 10 Girls Getaway to Miami - Two nights stay, two “welcome to Miami” cocktails and breakfast for two; Value: $450

Dec. 11 Discover Charleston Package- Two nights for two at Fulton Lane Inn, tickets to Middleton Place, carriage tour & tickets to historic Nathaniel Russell House; Value: $489

Dec. 14 Girls Getaway to Martha’s Vineyard - Two nights stay in one-bedroom luxury suite; Value: $500

Dec. 15 Best Friends’ One-Night Getaway -Enjoy two rooms for a one-night stay at any AVIA hotel (Savannah, Napa, Long Beach or The Woodlands; Value: $500

Dec. 16 Girls Getaway to Phoenix - One night stay in the Ocattia at the Arizona Biltmore with Club Lounge Access; Value: $500

Dec. 17 Girls Getaway to Pinehurst, NC - Trip for two for an Evergreen Escape Spa Getaway, including room, breakfast and spa treatments; Value: $550

Dec. 18 Girls Getaway to New Orleans - Two nights stay at the Inn on Bourbon; Value: $600

Dec. 21 Girls Getaway to Las Vegas - Two nights stay at the Palms Place Hotel in a Studio Suite facing The Strip; Value: $600

Dec. 22 Shop & Spa Getaway for Two in Massachusetts - One night stay at Cranwell Resort, 50-minute spa service/person, $65 dining credit/person, unlimited fitness classes, $50 gift card & VIP coupon book for Prime Outlets; Value: $620

Dec. 23 Girls Getaway to Philadelphia - Two nights weekend getaway at Hotel Palomar Philadelphia; Value: $649

Bonus Day: Dec. 24 Girls Getaway to Montana - Five days/four nights stay for one person at Flatpenny Inn Adventure Lodge in Livingston, Montana; Value: $699

SECOND BONUS DAY & GRAND PRIZE: Dec. 25: Orlando Premium Outlets & Floridays Resort Orlando - Four day/three nights stay in Two Bedroom Grand Suite at Floridays Resort, $250 Chelsea/Visa Gift Card, VIP Gift Bag from Orlando Premium Outlets; Value: $775

Can you say WOW? These are some fabulous prizes. Get your self over to GirlsGetawayGuide and enter to win one of these girlfriend getaways. Good luck!

Read the rest of this entry »

You’re Invited to the Black Friday Preview Twitter Party!

Hey girlfriends, you know, we love a good excuse to get together with our girlfriends, online or in real life.  And YES, sometimes this does involve shopping—especially for good deals! So, we were thrilled to be asked to co-host a “twitter party” on the evening of Friday, November 20, from 7 – 9 pm EST. Click here to read the official invitation, RSVP, and find out how to enter the first giveaway now simply by retweeting!

We’re so excited to be taking part in this one-of-a-kind twitter event! Using the hashtag #BFParty, we’ll be hanging out on twitter and enjoying:

  • Exclusive access to online discounts
  • Previews of Black Friday sales
  • DoorBuster Sales from your Favorite Retailers
  • Giveaways from American Express, Eli’s Cheesecake, Whole Foods and more!
Holiday cooking demonstrations, virtual wine tastings, holiday music, and great conversation will also be part of this fun event.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top Ten Ways to Help a Girlfriend Get Well

get well soon
With this season of colds, pneumonia and swine flu, someone in your circle of friends might be feeling under the weather right now.  Recently the Girlfriends-in-Chief themselves were shut-in for one illness or another and personally  understand “It’s really pretty sucky!”  So we’re here to remind you to take a minute out of your busy schedule, arm yourselves with love and compassion and let a girlfriend know you are thinking of her. Taking some time to nurture a girlfriend can make a world of difference not only in her life but yours as well.

When a person is unable to take part in normal daily activities outside their home, their world shrinks dramatically. Keeping in touch and connected to the outside world can be a saving grace. By daily taking time to phone-a-friend you provide emotional support and mental stimulation. Yes, being her link to the outside world is an important role so don’t forget to ring and do so often.

All too often women offer to help each other by saying, “If there’s anything I can do, please give me a call.” Yet, the phone never rings. And why, you might ask? Because as women, we us feel uncomfortable asking others for help unless it’s an emergency. Women are not taught to ask others for help but believe that they can do everything. Women in our society strive to be super mom, super wife…super everything. So do your girlfriend a favor and don’t put her on the spot! Don’t ask if you can help, just do it! Your unsolicitated thoughtfulness and caring is like chicken soup for the heart. A healthy dose will do a girlfriend some good.

Here are 10 ways to show a girlfriend you care:

1. Mail her a card everyday she is unable to leave the house. Ask other girlfriends to do the same. A daily reminder that you and others are thinking of her will add a little color to a blue day.

2. Drop off a basket of magazines, books or movies. Keeping her mind occupied will help to keep her spirits up.

3. Leave a favorite treat on her doorstep. (white chocolate mocha, hot apple pie) A yummy treat will do wonders to warm her heart.

4. While you are out grocery shopping, pick up a few extra staples of fresh fruit vegetables, bread or milk. The perishables in her refrigerator will be the first to go bad and are packed with nutrients to help a sick one heal.

5. Send over a basket of homemade soup, crusty bread and cookies, along with the recipes. A bowl of steamy soup will help to warm a bluesy day.

6. Have the little ones you know create a special and bouquet of colorful tissue paper flowers for her. Brighten her room with cheerful color, a special touch to remind her you care.

7. Load up a disc of happy and inspiring music to step up her mood.

8. Give her a scrapbook kit to fill while she has the time on her hands. Getting the chore of putting her pictures away will be much appreciated.

9.  Make a few freezer meals for her to store for use when she really needs some help.

10. Rent a few video games for her to try. Adding some fun to her day with video games she’s never played can be just the prescription she needed.

Helping a girlfriend during a time of need can be a truly rewarding gesture. How have you have helped the friends in your life? We’d love to hear about it. Stay tuned to GirlfriendCelebrations for more ways nurture your friendships. Read the rest of this entry »

Girltalk November/December 2009: Guilt-Free Holidays!

Hey, Girlfriends! With a nod to the busy-ness of the months ahead, we’re scheduling only one GIrltalk…Taking it Deeper™ topic for November and December combined. Christine Arylo’s discussion guide for this month appears below. If you are hosting a Girltalk group, you may want to download this month’s printable guide here. Want to know what Girltalk is all about? Read this. If you have any questions about Girltalk…Taking it Deeper™ or suggestions about how we can improve your experience, please leave a comment or email us.

Guiltless Girls Have More Fun!

Be Real. While the holidays are advertised to bring us cheer, joy and gifts (and often times they do), what many of us also end up with is a rack full of stress, guilt and debt. And truthfully, some of it’s our own darn fault. We’re like wind-up toys gone beserk, doing everything we’re supposed to, acting as we’re expected to, showing up to the places we’re invited to (even if we don’t want to go), afraid to do and say what’s really on our minds.

If the holidays are meant to be a time of joy, connection and celebration, why the heck would we do anything that doesn’t make us joyful or feel connected to the people we love? The answer? G-U-I-L-T.  We don’t want people to be mad at us… we don’t want to be the ‘bad girl’… we want everyone to be happy. But what about us?

While every woman has a choice in how she spends the precious six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Years, few of us slow down long enough to ask our bodies, minds and spirits what they need. And even if we know what we need, we succumb to guilt, obligation and the holiday frenzy instead.

Be Wise. November and December are actually a time for going in and slowing down – think about the hibernating bears, the trees without leaves, and the days getting longer and darker leading up to Winter Solstice on Dec 21st. What nature is calling us to do is the exact opposite of the bright lights, big sales and hustle bustle… which explains why most of us are exhausted by January 1 and the year has only begun!  What would it be like this year to enjoy the holidays in ways that actually replenished you, fueled you and left you ready to start 2010 vibrantly full of energy?

Be You. This month at  Girltalk… Taking it Deeper™, I dare us all to give ourselves the gift of joy by doing what we truly want this holiday season. I dare you to do not even one thing out of obligation or guilt. Now, I am not suggesting you become a raving lunatic, stomping around demanding that everyone bow to you, but I am suggesting that you put your foot down and your heart forward, and use this holiday season to replenish.

This holiday season, I invite you and your Girltalkers to make November and December guilt-free by doing what moves your hearts and souls, to what brings feelings of love and happiness. Even for the things you might not love doing… how can you do them from a place of love vs. guilt? I dare us all to make our choice from this place. Isn’t that what the holidays are about anyway? Read the rest of this entry »