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Valentine's Day is coming up in a few short days. Have you picked out a card for your loved one yet? If not, you better get a move on it!
To help you out, here is your guide to everything you need to know about Valentine's Day cards!
When was the First Valentine’s Day?
Did you know that the first Valentine’s Day was celebrated over 1500 years ago in 496? It grew out of a Roman festival celebrating the start of spring called Lupercalia. As for the namesake, Valentine, historians are not certain who exactly the day was named for. There are 3 candidates with the name Valentine but not enough convincing evidence to determine which one the occasion was specifically named for.
The Early History of Valentine’s Day Cards
The first Valentine is believed to be a poem written in 1415 by Charles, the Duke of Orleans. He wrote it for his wife after being imprisoned in the Tower of London!
As for the first Valentine’s Day cards, they arrived a little while later. The act of giving Valentines grew in popularity during the Victorian era. People would craft a card by hand and give it to their desired partner. The first printed Valentine’s Day card is thought to have been created in 1797. This card was manufactured in London and included design flourishes such as Cupids, flowers, and doves…elements still common in Valentine’s Day cards to this day!
In 1848, right down the road from us in Worcester, MA, Esther Howland began a successful Valentine’s Day card business at just 20 years old! She received a Valentine from a paramour and thought she could create one better. After making a card that impressed her father, she made a deal with him to sell her cards at her father’s store. To help meet growing demand, she hired several female employees to help handcraft Valentine’s Day cards right in her home! Her cards were magnificent artworks. Each card was 3 dimensional and crafted with lace and paper. Her designs were so beloved that she would become known as the “Mother of the American Valentine.”
Now that we know all about the roots of Valentine’s Day cards, let’s look into picking out a card for your loved one!
How to Pick a Valentine’s Day Card
Selecting a Valentine’s Day card for your loved one can be a daunting task. There are a wide variety of cards to choose from making it even more difficult! You have to consider what kind of card they like. Something artistic, funny, heartfelt, or ironic? Will they like the design that you choose?
Your Loved One's Personality
Think about your loved one’s personality. For a sentimental person, a more heartfelt card with a meaningful design will certainly hit home. While someone who is more artistic might enjoy a card with a meticulously crafted design.
Your Loved One's Hobbies
Does your loved one have a special hobby that they engage in? Whether it’s sports, crafting, cooking, birding, or gardening, you can find a design that will resonate with them.
Something That Relates to Your Relationship With Them.
There are certain designs that might remind your relationship with your husband or wife. It could be a place you visited, a certain flower that was given to you on a special occasion, or another symbol.
Something That Makes You Think of Them.
What are some things that make you think of your loved one?
What to Write in a Valentine’s Day Card
Putting your thoughts and feelings about your loved one on paper can be quite hard…especially in a Valentine’s Day card! If you’re in a new relationship, you might be nervous about how your partner will respond. Do they feel the same way about you?
On the other hand, if you’re in a long-term relationship, you might be worried about not saying enough! If you don’t say the right thing, will their feelings be accidentally hurt?
We are not going to tell you specific sentiments to write inside your card. That wouldn’t make your Valentine’s Day card as special and heartfelt as it could be. Instead, we will help you create a beautiful sentiment in your own words. To help you out, we have some suggestions to make your Valentine’s Day card perfect for your loved one. Let’s get started!
A Valentine is very much a love letter. When we think of a letter, you have 4 different parts, the greeting, the body, the closing, and your signature. Let’s start with the greeting.
A Valentines Greeting
The greeting is the opening to your sentiment such as “Dear Casey” or “To My Love.” We have become so accustomed to writing “Dear…” that we might overlook this key area to set the tone for your message. Before starting to write, think of your special name for your partner. Do you have a nickname or pet name for your loved one? Maybe you have a unique diminutive you use. Opening your sentiment with the name only you use for them is the perfect way to remind them they are the one, and only one, for you.
This is where we get to the good stuff! Don’t be intimidated by the blank space. You will make good use of it with these suggestions. For the body, don’t feel like you must write a novel. 2 to 30 sentences are sufficient when they hit all the right notes. Also, don’t hesitate to write more if you have a lot you’d like to say. Either way, you are letting your loved one know how much they mean to you!
Memories of Your Valentine
Memories are a wonderful place to start when writing a message. Think of a special memory you have of your love. Did you go on a trip somewhere and fall in love? Did something funny happen? What about something about them that made an indelible impression. Was there an outfit that they wore? Was there a perfume that they wore that you will never forget? Maybe just seeing them walk into a room made your heart stop. Let your loved one know!
A Life-Changing Event
How has your life changed since meeting your loved one? Getting your first apartment together. Maybe, you moved to another town, state, or even country to be closer. You had children together. How did they make you a better person?
Your Future Together
A Valentine’s Day card is the perfect place to ponder your future together. Where do you see your life going with your loved one? What are you most looking forward to? How many more years of adventures and happiness?
In wrapping up your sentiment, consider adding a sentence or two about what you are most looking forward to with your loved one. Whether it's a trip abroad or a special night out, letting your sweetie know you are looking forward to time together will make them feel loved.
A Warm Closing
You will probably want to stay away from impersonal closings such as 'sincerely yours' or 'best wishes.' Something like 'Your love' will be received well. If you are feeling adventurous, try to come up with something a little more to your and your loved one's liking.
Signed With a Kiss
The signature is where you sign your name at the end. Just like the greeting, this is another area where you can highlight your unique relationship. Does your partner have a special pet name, nickname, or diminutive just for you?
Handwriting Neatly in Your Valentine’s Day Card
Many of us don’t have the greatest penmanship. This can make us a little shy to write a nice message. Before writing your message, consider typing it out on your computer first. This way you can be sure you have the right wording. Select your favorite pen. If you’re lefty, make sure you angle the card so your hand doesn’t smudge the ink. The hard part is writing in straight lines. We have a handy printout to help you write neatly on your card. You can download it here.
For more help with writing neatly inside your card, watch the How to Write Neatly in a Card with Anya below.
You can take any of these suggestions, write about them all, just one, or mix them up. Just make it all your own. It’ll be much more unique that way! Just remember, when writing, to just be yourself. Your loved one is with you because of who you are, warts and all!
How to Give a Valentine’s Day Card
Now that your Valentine’s Day card has been picked out and you’ve written a beautiful sentiment inside, you are now ready to give it to your sweetheart.
Hide Your Valentine
If you like to have a little bit of fun, hide your Valentine in a place you know your loved one will find it. Try under their pillow, in the latest book they are reading, in their coat pocket, or even under the TV remote!
Send Your Valentine
Getting a Valentine in the mail is always a welcome surprise. Just seeing that red or pink envelope with your name handwritten on it, brings a smile and warm feeling to your heart. Even if you live with your sweetie, sending your Valentine to them will let them know how much you’ve been thinking about them!
Give Your Valentine
Lastly, if you’d like to see your loved one’s beautiful smile, you can just cut to the chase and hand your card to them on Valentine’s Day.
What to Do With Your Valentine’s Day Cards
With your stack of Valentine’s Day cards, you might be asking, “What do I do with all of these cards?” We have some suggestions for you below.
Keep Your Valentine’s Day Cards in a Box
Keeping your Valentines in a box is probably the most common. What’s great about this is that it keeps the cards from getting damaged. It’s also a special feeling taking that box of cards out on special occasions and reading the heartfelt sentiments written for you.
Frame Your Valentine’s Day Cards
Valentine’s Day cards are quite special. They share how your loved one feels about you. The design they pick and the sentiment they write is all about you. What better way to be reminded of that than by having that card framed and displayed on a wall or mantle that we see every day?
A Valentine’s Day Book
Pick up a photo album at Target, Walmart, or Michaels, and make a Valentine’s Day keepsake book. You can place all your Valentines here and keep the book on your coffee table or nightstand. That way, it’s always there when you need a little reminder of how loved you are!
Let us know what you think about our Ultimate Guide to Valentine's Day!