According to a search of the History Channel facts and traditions, February 14th, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Mexico, and Australia. In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th, it was common for friends and lovers of all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes, and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one’s feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine’s Day greetings.
Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year.
So what kind of gifts do you give your special person for Valentine’s Day? Flowers are always nice unless he/she has an allergy. Candy, especially chocolate, is a favorite. A romantic evening out for dinner and candle light? If you can’t do that because of Covid-19 concerns, how about a nice romantic movie on the TV or perhaps gift your lovely with a romantic book that can be shared?
This weekend, look for a special offering and advertisement of one of my own romance novels, titled Endless Circle, which is being shown as a “deal of the day” on the eBook Cafe reader’s club on Feb. 13th. Books make wonderful Valentine’s Day gifts.