Greeting card history and etiquette for Valentine’s Day

Billions of greeting cards are sold and exchanged each year; Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular

Billions of greeting cards are sold and exchanged each year, and Valentine’s Day is one of the most popular days of the year to give a loved one a greeting card.

Though the tradition of exchanging greeting cards is still going strong, few may know the history and etiquette behind this time-tested tradition.

The tradition of exchanging greeting cards can be traced back to ancient China, where people exchanged messages of good will to celebrate the New Year. Over time, greeting cards were exchanged for various reasons, and by the 1850s greeting cards were transformed from handmade, expensive purchases to relatively affordable means of personal communication and well-wishing.

Valentine’s Day greetings have been popular since the Middle Ages, when they were sung or spoken aloud to special people. Cards were popularized in the 1400s, and the oldest known Valentine created during this era is on display in the British Museum in London. Valentines were initially made by hand, but by the end of the 1800s, the process of making cards was handled by machinery.

Sending cards requires a little know-how. Start out with a high-quality card to show that you value the recipient. If you’re taking the time to send a greeting card, make sure it looks like you put some effort into its selection.

Address cards by hand and sign them personally.

Greeting cards are about expressing sentiments to special people in your life. They’re popular on Valentine’s Day and all year long to commemorate holidays and special occasions.