A couple of weeks ago, in Issue #120 of our Friday newsletter, we reflected on weddings and all the happy ways we celebrate our friends that are walking down the aisle. We couldn’t help but think, though – what about our friends who are celebrating other important life events and accomplishments that don’t typically get the same level of fanfare?

From life-changing moments like paying off student loans to graduating from medical school or adopting a puppy, there are lots of reasons to celebrate your friends outside of their relationships; and we wanted to know how you do it.

Here are some ideas from you – the GNI community – on how to celebrate your friends who deserve to be celebrated:

“I love celebrating the little and fun days too! Recently, I hosted a ‘puppyshower’ for my friend who was a dog mom-to-be. Another friend earned her yoga teacher training certificate and we totally took to the mats (and then the margs!) to cheer on her next step.” - Meagan S.

“When I graduated from my Ph.D. program, I had a doctorette. Fourteen of my friends flew down to New Orleans with me and we celebrated for the weekend at restaurants, grave yards, and bars. It was the best!” - Hillary

“I think it’s so important to celebrate every occasion in my friends’ lives, whether it’s a promotion, job change, graduation, or whatever! I’ve never thrown a big party a la an engagement party, but I do take my friends out for dinner or drinks or ice cream, and I always treat.” - Emma Y.

“When I graduated from my MBA program, my family got these huge gold foil balloons that said MBA and we brought them to the restaurant where we were celebrating. Soon enough, we were having a full-blown photo shoot with the balloons and just laughing about it. It was over the top and I felt so validated because here I was at 27 - a first-generation Canadian-Somali black womyn with an MBA – and we were celebrating me!! “ - Adey F.

“We’ve had a lot of friends celebrate career changes in our group recently, and somehow it got started that we celebrate with group karaoke. It’s accidentally turned into a tradition, but it’s been a nice ritual to have to celebrate everyone’s life changes.” - Becca B.

“A few years ago, my best friend and I celebrated our 20th anniversary of being best friends! We met in kindergarten, grew up down the street from one another, went to school together all the way through college and were college roommates too. We joke that our friendship is the most successful relationship both of us have ever had.” - Nicole L.

“I threw an apartment shower for my sister after a breakup and move to her first solo home and I also threw a paid-off-your-credit-card-debt party for another friend. I’m obsessed with financial literacy and making money work for us, not fearing it!” - Grace C.

“My girl friends and I have really tried to celebrate other life successes like getting into fellowship programs, new apartments/homes, promotions, and our most celebration to date - quitting toxic corporate jobs! We make them fun - like birthdays - with themes and signs and games or sometimes just a nice dinner out to give that friend time to geek out about her new job and to brag a little.” - Anna T.

“I’ve given housewarming style gifts for my single friends who become new homeowners OR single friends who move into their own space for the first time, which I think is a very big deal.” - Alisha R.

“I love Sunday Showers. It’s a new initiative, based in Toronto so far, to do exactly what you were talking about - celebrating other important milestones in women’s lives!” - Katii C.

Shine Registry is dedicated to helping women-owned businesses thrive, and the idea behind it is that while we have wedding registries, there’s no way to financially congratulate/recognize/support our friends and women generally early on in their business ventures. This helps with that!” - Natalia D.

“As a single woman in my 30s I have spent thousands of dollars on plenty of events that celebrate coupleness, and I’m happy to do so, but it makes you realize how much all the other big life moments that don’t fit into that societal bucket AREN’T celebrated, so I make a big point to send stuff (usually a card, pins, and books are my go-to) to my close friends who have gotten into grad school, reached a big goal, are going through a rough patch, or starting a new job.” - Jenny L.

Lede image via @otistheyorkiepoo

How do you celebrate your friends’ life moments and milestones? Let us know in the comments! 👇