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We’ve all heard the complaints about Valentine’s Day being an over-commercialized, Hallmark holiday meant to stuff the wallets of greeting card industry executives while draining the hearts of lonely single people, leaving them stranded in a pile of tissues and raw cookie dough watching You’ve Got Mail for the 137th time.

Or maybe I’m the only one saying that…

Did you know?

  • Second only to Christmas, Valentine’s Day is the highest grossing holiday for greeting card sales—set to rake in an estimated $1.01 billion this year.
  • In 1825, the Post Office handled more than 200,000 letters more than usual on Valentine’s Day.
  • Today, according to Hallmark, 191 million Valentine’s cards are exchanged throughout the industry.

Whatever Valentine’s Day has become over this past century, it’s definitely a huge business. The entrepreneur in me is proud of Hallmark. Way to seize an incredible opportunity to make moolah (and spread love in the process)!

The romantic in me loves greeting cards. To write down your feelings and give them to someone is a sweet, sweet act. It’s a forever keepsake. And it should mean a lot to the recipient. In fact, one of my career goals is to develop my own line of greeting cards one day. I want to come up with quirky, fun, sweet rhymes and sayings. And I want to play a small part in the sweet moments in others’ lives.

Did you know?

  • The Duke of Orleans sent the oldest known Valentine in 1415 A.D. to his French wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. It is still on display in a museum in England.
  • The Italian city of Verona, where Shakespeare’s lovers Romeo and Juliet lived, receives about 1,000 letters addressed to Juliet every Valentine’s Day.
  • Teachers receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, and then, sweethearts. (Go teachers!)

Yes, I admit I’ve seen You’ve Got Mail way too many times. And I may or may not shed a tear tonight while I eat a Smart Ones frozen dinner in my PJs. But I’m not anti-Valentine’s. I think that setting apart a special day to celebrate romance is a beautiful thing.

I hope next year I can celebrate it in that way.

For now I’ll celebrate in my own way—by taking full advantage of tomorrow’s 50-percent discount on delicious, heart-shaped chocolates. Who’s with me?

~Ruth