A Valentine’s Day greeting card is a love letter which contains a heartfelt message to a lover, has romantic wordings and hearts strewn all over it. Statistics in the US have revealed that the number of cards sent on Valentine’s Day is second largest after Christmas. So a card on Valentine’s Day has a very special meaning, even if the matter inside it is printed and ready-made.
The Valentine’s Day greeting card has become a part of the package gift that you send to your lover. But there are several ways to make it unique because you are sending it to the most special person in your life. Instead of picking up a greeting card from the local drugstore, you can choose something special like a handmade Valentine card made from handmade paper and then taking some time to write down your own message to your lover. This personal touch can make all the difference to a simple card that you buy and transform into a love letter.
The expression “from your Valentine” which is used on many Valentine’s Day greeting cards dates back to the 3rd century. Saint Valentine, who was one of the most popular saints in England and France, sent his first “valentine” greeting when he was in prison to a young girl with whom he fell in love. She was the jailer’s daughter and before Valentine died, he wrote a love letter to her and signed “from your Valentine”. Since then, it has become a lover’s expression used often on greeting cards today.
The oldest greeting card sent on Valentine’s Day is displayed in the British Museum. It is believed that the oldest valentine greeting was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife in 1415. She was held prisoner in the Tower of London and the manuscript of the valentine has been preserved in the British Library in London. In later years, valentine greetings were sent in the form of notes and the kings hired writers to compose them.
What started as hand-written notes became hand-made valentine cards in the 18th century in America. When the printing technology came in, people stopped writing cards by hand, instead they got them printed in various fancy forms. By the middle of the 19th century, valentine greeting cards were being mass produced in the USA.
Though a greeting card on Valentine’s Day is primarily meant for lovers, several people send them off to friends or near and dear ones, where relationships are not always based on romance. Siblings, parents, children, best friends, colleagues or neighbours may be lucky recipients of a Valentine’s Day card.
In today’s commercial world, a Valentine’s Day greeting card is easily available, and the variety available ranges from simple mass-produced cards to personalised, musical and hand-made greeting cards. The tradition of sending cards is still not obsolete and as long as love and human relationships prevail, the value of the Valentine’s Day greeting card will not diminish.