homemade valentines

11 02, 2019

Valentine cards – the legend and origin

By |2019-02-03T20:41:16-06:00February 11th, 2019|Holidays, Make Me Think Monday, Valentine's Day|0 Comments

As a writer of love stories, February 14th is one of my very favorite holidays. As a history buff, I love the legend and the origin of sending valentine cards. Valentines are the mirror of romance.


A real priest who lived in 270 A.D., Saint Valentine provided Christians with sacraments outlawed by the Roman Empire such as marriage for soldiers forbidden to marry and baptism.

Around 498 A.D., Pope Gelasius honored Valentinus by declaring February 14th as St. Valentine’s Day. The day now appears in the calendar of saints in the Anglican Communion and the Lutheran Church.

Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment, giving them to the soldiers and persecuted Christians to “remind them of God’s love and to encourage them to remain faithful Christians.”

That action, whether fable or real, began the custom of giving cards and reminders to loved ones on February 14.


In spite of technology and ecards retail Valentine card sales continue to grow. It’s estimated that about 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are purchased each year.

Artist Esther Howland (1828–1904) was the first to publish and sell Valentine cards in the United States. Before Esther, the cards were hand made with paper, lace, and ribbons and handwritten poetry. The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester holds a large collection of her valentines.

Most Valentines were mass-produced by machine by the end of the 19th century. Creative people like my friend still send handmade cards.

If you read my blog often, you know I collect vintage holiday post cards. Here are my favorite Valentines. While not as elaborate, I love the way these cards speak of romance.

Valentines express our love to others. Will you send valentines to show someone you love them this Valentine’s Day?

6 02, 2017

Time to Share Some Valentine Love

By |2017-02-05T19:00:50-06:00February 6th, 2017|Make Me Think Monday|0 Comments

I’m a romantic at heart and by profession. After all, I do write about romance. February is my favorite time of year.

Saint Valentine, for whom the day is named, was a real priest. He went to prison because he performed Christian marriages when the Roman Empire had outlawed the sacrament. While imprisoned, he cut hearts from parchment and gave them to the soldiers and persecuted Christians to “remind them of God’s love and to encourage them to remain faithful Christians.”

His deed began our custom of sharing cards and gifts of love on February 14.

Unlike Christmas where gifting can become expensive, sending a valentine card can a fun, simple, and inexpensive way to say I love you or I’m thinking about you. You can use your imagination to create cute, adorable, beautiful, special, romantic, charming, or even corny homemade cards.

As we approach this Valentine’s Day, let’s not forget the men and women who serve our country.

The web is loaded with Valentines for Vets classroom projects ideas. I’m not a teacher, but that won’t stop me from sending cards to our local veteran’s center.

Won’t you join me?

Valentines of all shapes, sizes, and colors are welcome. I find greeting-card size valentines are easiest to package and distribute.

Just keep these tips in mind as you create your cards:

  1. Sign your valentine with your first name only. Do not include your last name, phone number, or address
  2. Share a little about yourself. Students usually share their age, school, likes, etc.
  3. Do not include candy or chocolate with the valentines
  4. Avoid glitter or materials that might easily break off if you send a homemade card
  5. Don’t date the card with the year
  6. Most importantly, tell the vet why you appreciate them. Need ideas on what to say? Try this site.
  7. If you send more than one valentine, don’t seal individual valentines envelopes. Instead, place unsealed cards in one larger sealed envelope to mail or deliver your valentines in.

You can go through national organization websites or simply your drop cards off at a local veteran’s facility. Click here to find a veterans’ center near you.

Let’s share valentine love with a veteran this year.

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