Friendship is an age-old institution that crosses boundaries of religion, culture, age, income level, and education. So it may come as a surprise that National Friendship Day wasn't invented until the early 20th century—and only then as a way to increase sales of greeting cards. But when the greeting card industry declined mid-century, National Friendship Day didn't die off with it. Now this holiday is more popular than ever before—thanks mostly to social media. On the first Sunday in August, we celebrate our friendships by saying, "Thank you for being a friend."
Why We Love National Friendship Day
A. Friends allow us to be ourselves
Friends love us for who we are. They’ve seen us at our worst and our best, with and without makeup, drunk and sober, in pajamas and in fancy clothes—and they’ve still chosen to stick around. Friends give us a safe space to feel comfortable and at home.
B. Friends give us a reality check when no one else will
Friends are those rare folks who can tell it like it is without worrying about hurting our feelings—and we love them for it. They’ll tell us that our girlfriend or boyfriend is a jerk, that our outfit looks horrible, or that we’re making a terrible life decision—and by doing so, they spare us embarrassment and pain down the road.
C. They make mundane activities fun
While it’s fun to go on an adventure once in awhile, the mundane, everyday moments are what truly become special in the company of a friend. When shared with a friend, trips to the grocery store, walking the dog, or eating a meal can suddenly become magical moments that you and your friends remember for years.
How to Celebrate National Friendship Day
1. Send a greeting card to your friend
It’s been said that “writing letters is the purest form of friendship we humans can possibly express.” Send a handwritten greeting card to your best friend (or, if you’re ambitious, to multiple friends) explaining what they mean to you. After all, National Friendship Day was originally founded by Hallmark!
2. Call your friends
In the digital age, phone calls have become all too rare, as impersonal texts and DMs dominate our methods of communication. Surprise your friends by giving them a call and catching up via phone. Remind them that they’re special to you.
3. Create a customized playlist of all your favorite songs
Chances are, you and your friend have similar tastes in music. Certain songs may even evoke particular memories or special moments in your friendship. Create a customized playlist of those songs and send it to your friend as a way of saying, “Remember this? Those were good times.”