Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Reviewing The Romantic Story Of Valentines Day Cards

White, pink and red roses

I love Valentines day and enjoy the romance and fun of it. My husband and I still celebrate it 
and while we do not generally do anything very expensive, often we go for a lovely walk and a coffee somewhere in the countryside or at the beach. Perhaps a picnic if the weather is good enough, occasionally a dinner out or we cook a delicious meal and we often watch a good film in the evening. 

Each year we buy or make each other a Valentines Day Card. We have kept all our cards to each other and over the years it has made a lovely nostalgic collection of our life together.

The history and traditions of valentine cards is interesting, though maybe the early history a little imprecise and seems to have started in ancient Rome.  There is some debate about who was St. Valentine with several  men competing for that title. However, according to some sources, the first Valentine card was sent by St. Valentine of Terni. He was a  Christian martyred in the 3rd Century, imprisoned for performing marriages, especially those of Roman Soldiers at a time when Emperor Claudius banned his soldiers from marrying so as to keep them battle ready and free from family obligations. 

He apparently wrote a farewell letter to the daughter of his jailer who he had befriended and healed. When he wrote the letter he signed it "your Valentine". Of course other versions of the Valentine story may well exist!

White and pink roses in soft focus

Valentine cards became more usual in the Middle Ages. This was a time when people began to celebrate  romantic love and courtship. Of the earliest valentine cards some were poems or songs written by famous poets, such as Geoffrey Chaucer and Charles d’OrlĂ©ans.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, valentine cards became more popular and people started to make them by hand, using paper adorned with lace, flowers and ribbons. Being handmade individually many of these cards were very expensive to produce and time consuming to make, often being very intricate and people must have had wonderful crafting skills.

Many declared messages of love as we would expect, but others were humorous or even surprisingly insulting!

I enjoy making Valentines cards from photographs of flowers and animals and nature in our garden and surrounding areas, some of which I have posted here. Most are messages of care and love. I have not made any insulting ones!

Here is one from made from a photograph of a gorgeous Labradoodle playfully and lovingly gazing up at us.

However, It wasn't until the late 18th century that the first printed valentine cards appeared in England but once they did they soon spread to other countries, especially the United States.

By the mid 19th century the penny post made it easier and cheaper to send Valentines cards. Gradually over time valentines cards became more accessible and less expensive to buy and send. 

Today it is again becoming more expensive to use the post to send cards and with the growth of digital communication we can now increasingly send messages and cards electronically via our technical devices. On most of my cards there is the option to have it as a printed card or downloadable to a device. 

This one is made from a gorgeous bouquet of very soft pink roses and delicate ferns.

I recall at school and University many Valentines cards were sent anonymously causing great intrigue and excitement as to who your secret admirer could be!

I think these days Valentines cards can be sent to someone you love or who you admire. However, depending on their content and picture they do not always have to be sent to a love interest, but rather to anyone who you care about and want to brighten their day.

I doubt St. Valentine of Terni could have imagined the development of Valentine cards as they are today!

Here is one made when we visited the beach and saw this "I Love U" inscribed on a rock! 

I wonder where Valentines day traditions will go in the future and whether young people will carry on the tradition or change and modify it. 

Today Valentine cards are still a kind and lovely way of expressing care, love and affection for special people in your life.

I thought these pale pink waterlilies were so beautiful sitting next to each other, so took a photo and made them into a Valentine day card. 

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I never thought about the history or past traditions of Valentine Cards. Fun to read about the background. The Valentine's Day cards you have created are lovely. Thanks so much for sharing, Raintree Annie.

  2. How very interesting!! I loved reading your review of the history of Valentines Cards. I also enjoyed seeing your cards. My favorite is the one with the water lillies.

  3. I have read several articles about the origins of Valentine’s Day cards and yours is by far the most interesting! I love the beautiful cards you have created that use your lovely photos.

  4. Very interesting! Like you and your husband, we exchange and keep our Valentine's Day cards every year. Your cards are lovely! I certainly appreciate the creative contributors like you on Zazzle. I'm not too crazy about the silly or crude cards. I much prefer the romantic cards like you have in your Zazzle store.

  5. Oh what pretty cards you make Raintree Annie. I love the history lesson as well. We often give each other cards, but not always. Cards are something that I tend to keep forever and they are fun to look back at. Time to rev up my game I think! Oh, and I wouldn't send anything rude or crude....give me a little romance any day of the week or year.

  6. Wow, Emperor Claudius banning his soldiers from marrying to keep them ready for battle! Wow, we sure do need Valentine's Cards if not to spread more love around this world - Humanity still has a long way to go, but I hope we're on the right side of the curve! Happy Valentine's day to you - and the cards are very nice.


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