September is Women's Friendship Month

September is Women's Friendship Month. She says with as much gusto as possible. I go back-and-forth between championing friendship holidays and feeling slightly squeamish over them.  Much like one of Santa's helpers admitting some ambivalence about Christmas,  it feels slightly wrong to be a spokesperson for women's friendship and not promote every one of the holidays.

Notice that word was plural.  In all honesty, that is my issue.  Look at this mess:

Friendship Holidays throughout the Year

  • All over the web, February is touted as the International Month of Friendship.  If you know why, I'd love to know, but indeed there are over 32 million results claiming it is so.
  • In my circle of women's friendship experts, we all seem to have

    gotten behind September as the National Women's Friendship Month. In 1999, Kappa Delta Sorority created the National Women's Friendship Day that became so popular that it was expanded in 2009 to a month-long celebration. Now women celebrate International Women’s Friendship Month (IWFM) the entire month. There are a good 52 million good results on this one, but who's to say if that is what determines the winner?

  • But with a ton of August friendship holidays cropping up, you'd have good reason for thinking everyone movedthe celebrations to this summer month. Apparently, August 1 is called National Girlfriends Day.  Not to be confused with the Women's Friendship Day that has multiple records online for being the third Sunday in August.  Which is still different from the more general official Friendship Day recognized by Wikipedia with Hallmark roots as being the first Sunday of every August since its inception in 1919.
  •  But even that official Friendship Date in August gets a little blurry since this last April 2011, the General Assembly of the United Nations declared July 30 as official International Friendship Day.
  • And then you can't do much research and not come across Best Friends Day on  June 8 or Old Friends, New Friends Week as the third week of May.

See what I mean?  What's a friendship girl to do?

There are simply too many groups of people naming different dates and too large a plethora of variations on the theme. If I don't throw up pom-pom's on each of the said dates then I feel like a friendship Scrooge or slacker; if I try to give honorable mention to all of them, they all seem to start losing some meaning.  I suppose I should just be thrilled to have more opportunities to promote friendship, but wouldn't any holiday start to lose some joy if we all celebrated it at different times and at half a dozen unique dates throughout the year?

So until you all figure out the best holiday schedule, I'm going to stick to celebrating September as Friendship Month.  I may throw another date in here-and-there just so I don't feel like a total friendship Grinch refusing to play with everyone else, but between you-and-me, just know it comes more from wanting to protect a holiday than not wanting there to be one.

This Friendship Month at Shasta's Friendship Blog

So there are 4 ways we are celebrating Friendship Month in the GirlFriendCircles community this September.  And, you're invited to all of them!

  1. 21 Days of Friendship Coaching Journey: In my last scheduled 21-Days of Friendship Journey curriculum of 2011, I invite you to step into an awesome month of reading, journaling, evaluating, and leaning into more meaningful friendships for your life. Most of us only learn about friendship from our own experiences and limited modeling from our moms and other friends so I have found that many women don't know the types of friends, the stages of friendship, and the best ways for you to evaluate your own sense of connectedness.  Sign up to receive a personal workbook and 5 tele-coaching calls in September. Use discount code GFC to save $15.
  2. Guest Blog Posts: I've received some great guest posts about what some women have learned about friendship that I'll be sharing with you every Thursday in September.  So you'll see a few more blog posts going up, but I'll still only send out one email each week with the links.   
    • Note: I'll still accept a few more posts to consider if you want to write from the perspective of what you've learned after "losing" a friend to a new boyfriend, from the perspective of someone who is housebound or health-challenged about what you wish we all knew and understood, or from the perspective of how its different to make friends in your retirement years. Send to me at Shasta@GirlFriendCircles.com by Monday.
  3. YouTube Video Series & Raffle Drawing: After some of you encouraging me to try it, I want to start teaching a bit on friendship through video. So what better time to jump in than the month of September? So here's my deal-- I am going to start posting (weekly?) vlogs under 3 minutes on my YouTube channel. But it would be so much more compelling to me if I actually had more than my husband as a subscriber!  :)
    • So you subscribe (log-in or sign-up for free account, then hit the yellow subscribe button on the top of my channel ShasGFC) so you'll be notified when I post a new video.
    • Besides promising you good quality vlogs on relationships-- I will also select a weekly winner from all who subscribe all month (the earlier you subscribe, the more chances to win )and we'll send

      5 winners some free product from Flying Wish Paper. These are super fun wishing activity kits:  write your wish on the special paper, light it and watch your wishes fly into the heavens.  My friends and I played with these the other night...and it's a fun activity to do for family Thanksgiving, weddings or other special group activities.

  4. Speed-Friending & Other Fun Events:
    • We're hosting two speed-friending events for all the women in the Bay Area. One is for those in their 20's and 30's, the other for women in their 40's, 50's and 60's.  Be one of the first five to sign up and it's only $10 for a night that ALWAYS ends up surprising people with how fun, easy, comfortable and effective our strategy is for connecting you to other women who also value new friends.
    • For all of you who don't live in the Bay Area, we hope you'll pass along the word for us.  But even more, I'm hoping that some of you movers-and-shakers will go post an event on the GirlFriendCircles.com calendar for those women in your city.  Go ahead and title it something like "Friendship Month _______" and fill in the blank with brunch, movie night, tea party, barbecue or anything else that sounds fun.
    • And by all means, everyone should be aiming to RSVP to some event this month where you remind yourself to keep making new friends.  So get involved!

Because pick your holiday, name your month, vote for your favorite version, or start yet another one-- what it really comes down to is love your friends well.

And should I not celebrate in February, please, please, please someone tell me it's okay.  :)