Valentine's Day, is celebrated on February 14, as a special day for lovers all over the world. Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, France, Australia, the United Kingdom, and of course, the United States. It has been customary to exchange gifts of candy, flowers, beauty and jewelry on this very special day. Gaining in popularity today are personalized Valentine's gifts.
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though the written Valentine didn't begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. It is believed Americans began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s.
Around the same time, Charles II of Sweden introduced the Persian custom of the 'language of flowers' to Europe. The rose has become the traditional Valentine's Day flower. The red rose is also the favorite flower of Venus, the goddess of love, which helped give the rose its symbolic meaning as the flower of passion and love. Cupid, the winged deity often associated with Valentine's day, is the son of Venus, the Roman goddess of love.
In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in America. They were elaborate creations made with colorful pictures, real lace and ribbons. According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion Valentine cards are sent each year. Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women.
Early American colonists made homemade candies with love notes scratched on the surface for Valentine’s Day. In 1860, Daniel Chase, brother of New England Confectionary Company's (NECCO) founder Oliver Chase, invented the process to print motto candies. Today, conversation hearts are one of the most popular Valentine’s Day candies. Candies, particularly chocolates, have become a favorite gift for giving to the one you love.
Gift baskets filled with spa and beauty items will shower your loved one with gifts that pamper the body, spirit and mind. Don't forget the chocolate connoisseur; give a gift of sweets to your sweetheart. You can't go wrong with gifts of jewelry, keepsakes and flowers, or personalized gifts.
Show your sweetheart, lover or spouse how much you care with a gift that comes from the heart. Your sweetheart will know you cherish them, not just on Valentine's Day, your anniversary, or any particular day of love and remembrance, but all year long.