Confession: I went to a small, all-girl Catholic school for 13 years. And despite graduating almost a decade ago, I still remember the excitement of Valentine’s Day. The week before, we’d gather in our auditorium, pull a classmate’s name out of a bowl, and decorate brown paper bags with glitter, magazine cutouts, and drawings for whomever we selected. The bags would go on the front of our lockers, and warm-fuzzies (that is, valentines) would go inside. On the actual day, we brought candy and treats to share with everyone. It was Galentine’s Day before Parks and Recreation made it a thing.
I miss those sugar-filled celebrations, but I’m thankful I grew up seeing Valentine’s Day as a moment to celebrate friendship. I still like to bring a small treat or two for my coworkers on February 14th—here are 12 cookies, bars, and treats, if you’d like to spread the love, too.