Be My Valentine
February 12, 2013
Candy? Check. Dinner reservations? Check. Flowers? Check. Card…?
Have you gotten a card for your Valentine yet? With the red heart holiday just around the corner, I began wondering why we send Valentine’s Day cards. We’ve been doing it since preschool, and it’s a big deal. But why? Why are those pink and red perforated cards slipped into a hand decorated shoe box so important? Why do husbands spend hours (okay, probably not hours) pouring over the card aisle at Hallmark? Why do we feel validated when we get a sweet note from our special someone on Valentine’s Day?
Let’s look at the Valentine's card history and see if we can find out. The first Valentine card was sent around 1400. It was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife. Later, King Henry V had one written for Catherine of Valois. Little did King Henry know that he had started something. By the 1700s, it was common place to send notes and trinkets for Valentine’s Day and, as the 20th century began, cards became more popular. (Where would we be without the printing press?)
Cards became a way for people to express their emotions in a time when you couldn’t really post your everlasting feelings for your girlfriend on YouTube. And the idea stuck. Today, we send over one billion Valentine cards each year. So, who are you sending a Valentine’s Day card to this year?
Colbern Road Branch