More than 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged each year, according to the trend trackers at Hallmark. This excludes packaged children’s valentines for classroom swaps.
Feb. 14 is the second-largest card-purchasing occasion. Christmas ranks No. 1, with a whopping 1.8 billion cards (individual and from boxed sets) sent annually.
Hallmark also notes:
- Almost half of all Valentine’s Day cards are purchased in the six days prior to the holiday, making it “a procrastinator’s delight.”
- Parents account for 40% of all Valentine’s Day card purchases.
If you’re going to buy a card, please look for designs printed on organic and/or recycled paper. Hallmark started recycling paper in the 1940s, and the company in 2008 created a green icon that appears on its line of earth-friendly products. Organic/recycled cards from smaller publishers are also available at natural and organic food stores.
Valentine’s Day sentiments may be rooted in the fiction of celebrated English author Geoffrey Chaucer during the High Middle Ages. The tradition of courtly love began to flourish during the period, and Chaucer’s Parlement of Foules poem was written to honor the first anniversary of King Richard’s II’s engagement to Anne of Bohemia. Literary theorists continue to debate Chaucer’s role in Valentine’s Day traditions, but some who slogged through The Canterbury Tales in high school or college can blame the notorious bard for the holiday fuss!
Photo courtesy of Hallmark