Valentine Ecards History

Valentine Ecards
Valentine Ecards

Besides Christmas, for which holiday do people buy and send the most greeting cards? You guessed it, St. Valentine’s Day! We know some of the history of Valentine’s Day, but when did people start traditionally sending Valentine’s Day cards? Before the 1400s, people recognized St. Valentine’s Day only by orating their Valentine in song or speech. The only record that we have of the first handmade “card” written for Valentine’s Day is from the 1400s and is preserved in a British Museum.

These handmade Valentine’s were popular in Europe in lieu of gifts, but it wasn’t until the 1800s that Valentine’s Day cards started to be mass produced by factory workers. These cards were very elaborate and delicate at the same time, some proving to be very expensive, and all had to be hand delivered. Some were embossed in gold, others were 3-D, and a few even had movable parts!

The Valentine craze hit America around the 1800’s, and they became even more popular in 1840 when the world’s first postage stamp was introduced. This of course made it possible to send the cards rather than hand deliver, however hand delivering them may have proven to be more romantic! A woman by the name of Esther Howland was one of the first to create and sell Valentine’s in the US in the 1850s. Her cards and others were hand painted and decorated with frilly accessories, but by the end of the 19th century most cards were mass produced by machines.

Esther Howland probably never in her wildest imagination could have foreseen that her first cards would ultimately lead to e-cards; cards sent to loved ones via an invisible highway known as the internet. But the truth is that we have gotten here, and that St. Valentine’s Day is as important as ever, and that because e-cards are easy to send, they have become the wave of the greeting card present and future. Here at GotFreeCards.com, the Valentine e-cards are just as elaborate as their ancestors from the 1400s, but they are FREE! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine Cards

Valentine Ecards
Valentine Ecards

When we were kids in grade school, Valentine’s Day at school meant a party in the classroom, treats for everyone, and no school work. What fun! The week before, my mom would take me to the store to pick out small Valentine’s cards for my classmates and some candy to go with it. The Valentine’s cards usually were red or pink and had an assortment of colorful characters on them; bears and hearts for the girls and superheros for the boys. The night before our Valentine’s party, I would fill out and address all of my little cards for all of my classmates and tape on a piece of candy. Sometimes there were those boys I didn’t like, or the bossy girl that I would rather give a bag of dirt to than the precious candy, but my mother would remind me that Valentine’s Day was for everyone and that no one wants to feel left out.

The day of the party, we’d all show up with our bags of goodies for our classmates, and once class started, we’d put our bags on our desk or the back of our chairs and walk around the room, putting our cards and treats into each person’s goody bag. And oh the joy when we got back to our desks and dumped out our bags to see all of the goodies our classmates had given us! This Valentine’s Day I want to recapture that joy by sending each one of my special friends and family Valentine’s e-cards to their email inbox, for what a special treat to get a special card just for them on Valentine’s Day. And the special treat for me? That all of the e-cards at GotFreeCards are FREE! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day Gifts- it’s the experience that counts

Valentine’s Day offers an opportunity to reconnect with your loved ones. If you are looking for something fun, yet meaningful to do this Valentine’s Day with your special someone, here are some ideas you could try. 

1. Sign up for a class – Is there something you and your significant other have wanted to learn or try for some time now? Why not sign up? Whether it’s a new language, yoga, skiing lessons or a creative writing class – just choose something that you both are interested in and new to and enjoy the experience of learning, sharing and exploring a new skill together. It’s like going back to high school or college, only, more enjoyable.

2. Save up and spend, together -Valentine’s Day could be the day you go shopping together and finally reward yourselves with something you both want and have been saving up for. A new car, a video camera, an exercise bike, a new laptop, maybe even the down payment for your home….the gift may not be romantic in itself. But the fact that you both worked hard to earn, save up and spend time to pick out something that you can share for years to come, certainly is. 

3. An unplanned road trip – Remember how you always wanted to take a spontaneous road trip to nowhere? Well, why not do it on Valentine’s Day weekend? Just get in the car and drive. Go wherever your heart(or your GPS) takes you. We often spot beautiful sights on our planned road trips – bridges, little towns or lakes we wish we could stop at and enjoy. But we don’t because we’re always in a rush to get somewhere else. Well, this Valentine’s day, why not make it to nowhere and yet stop everywhere your eyes and heart tell you to. You never know – you might even end up experiencing the most gorgeous sunset of your life or the most spectacular view that you won’t find in travel brochures. 

Valentine’s day ought to be more about doing the things we love and less about doing what the TV commercials or store displays tell us to. Me – I’m not a greeting card and bouquet person.  A long mountain drive, steaming hot coffee on a hill top and a free ecard from my sweetie is all it takes to make my Valentine’s Day. 

Watch your inbox for more meaningful Valentine’s Day gift ideas, in our next issue of Let’s Catch Up. Haven’t signed up for our newsletter yet? Please register on our homepage.

Turn Valentine’s Day into Valentine’s Week!

The good thing about Valentine’s Day and other such occasions is that is gives us an opportunity to think about and do something nice for the people we love once a year. The not-so-good thing about it is that we often take that as an excuse for not being as nice on other days of the year! ( How many times have you done or said something terrible during an argument and thought,” I’ll make up for it on Valentine’s Day or our anniversary”?)
So this year, I was wondering, instead of saving up all your love and expressions of love( read gifts!) for Valentine’s Day – why not spread it out a little? Instead of Valentine’s Day, why not celebrate a Valentine’s Week? There are two benefits of celebrating this way – 1) It takes your spouse or that special person in your life completely by surprise when you start showing your love and appreciation a few days earlier than expected! 2) It extends the celebrations for both of you and when it comes to romance – who doesn’t like an extended stay?!
If you’re game for this route or are at least willing to give it a shot, here are a few of my suggestions for celebrating a beautiful Valentine’s Week –
1. Spread your budget- Instead of splurging on one huge, expensive gift, buy a few smaller, but nice gifts that your Valentine would really appreciate. Leave these around as surprises for him or her to find throughout the week – in her coat pocket, under his pillow, at the car’s dashboard, in her laptop case, in his grooming kit…
2. Tease a little – Why reveal your Valentine’s Day plans when you can send her on a treasure hunt instead? Create clues about where you’ll be going and place the clues strategically so your Valentine finds them in sequence and tries to guess your plans. Each clue that he or she cracks successfully is accompanied by a little present leading to the real Valentine’s Day gift on the final day.
3. Be nice – Isn’t it funny how simple, thoughtful gestures like making breakfast and giving a massage are relegated to special occasions such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s day? This time, take the time to indulge in nice gestures throughout the week and beyond. Show your Valentine how much you care even when it’s not Valentine’s Day.
4. Spend time together – If you both lead busy lifestyles, work full time, have kids or simply have too much on your plate all the time, you probably don’t spend as much time together as you’d like. This year, make a change. Plan your work and chores in such a way that throughout Valentine’s week, you get off work on time, meet each other and spend time in the evenings doing something you love – be it a walk, watching movies, playing a sport, cooking together or just hanging out. Taking time to do the things you both enjoy is very essential to nurturing a healthy relationship.
5. Send free Valentine’s Day ecards. One for each day of the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. There are so many wonderful ecards to choose from, it just doesn’t make sense to send just one. So, on each day of the week, pick a Valentine’s Ecard you like and send it to the one you love. This way, you’ll have a chance to express all sides of your personality – from witty to funny to sentimental or serious – there are so many ways to say Happy Valentine’s Day. So, why say it just once?
How do you plan to spend your Valentine’s Week? Tell us!

The good thing about Valentine’s Day and other such occasions is that is gives us an opportunity to think about and do something nice for the people we love once a year. The not-so-good thing about it is that we often take that as an excuse for not being as nice on other days of the year! ( How many times have you done or said something terrible during an argument and thought,” I’ll make up for it on Valentine’s Day or our anniversary”?)

So this year, I was wondering, instead of saving up all your love and expressions of love( read gifts!) for Valentine’s Day – why not spread it out a little? Instead of Valentine’s Day, why not celebrate a Valentine’s Week? There are two benefits of celebrating this way – 1) It takes your spouse or that special person in your life completely by surprise when you start showing your love and appreciation a few days earlier than expected! 2) It extends the celebrations for both of you and when it comes to romance – who doesn’t like an extended stay?!

If you’re game for this route or are at least willing to give it a shot, here are a few of my suggestions for celebrating a beautiful Valentine’s Week –

1. Spread your budget- Instead of splurging on one huge, expensive gift, buy a few smaller, but nice gifts that your Valentine would really appreciate. Leave these around as surprises for him or her to find throughout the week – in her coat pocket, under his pillow, at the car’s dashboard, in her laptop case, in his grooming kit…

2. Tease a little – Why reveal your Valentine’s Day plans when you can send her on a treasure hunt instead? Create clues about where you’ll be going and place the clues strategically so your Valentine finds them in sequence and tries to guess your plans. Each clue that he or she cracks successfully is accompanied by a little present leading to the real Valentine’s Day gift on the final day.

3. Be nice – Isn’t it funny how simple, thoughtful gestures like making breakfast and giving a massage are relegated to special occasions such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s day? This time, take the time to indulge in nice gestures throughout the week and beyond. Show your Valentine how much you care even when it’s not Valentine’s Day.

4. Spend time together – If you both lead busy lifestyles, work full time, have kids or simply have too much on your plate all the time, you probably don’t spend as much time together as you’d like. This year, make a change. Plan your work and chores in such a way that throughout Valentine’s week, you get off work on time, meet each other and spend time in the evenings doing something you love – be it a walk, watching movies, playing a sport, cooking together or just hanging out. Taking time to do the things you both enjoy is very essential to nurturing a healthy relationship.

5. Send free Valentine’s Day ecards. One for each day of the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. There are so many wonderful ecards to choose from, it just doesn’t make sense to send just one. So, on each day of the week, pick a Valentine’s Ecard you like and send it to the one you love. This way, you’ll have a chance to express all sides of your personality – from witty to funny to sentimental or serious – there are so many ways to say Happy Valentine’s Day. So, why say it just once?

How do you plan to spend your Valentine’s Week? Tell us!

New Year Ecards

Why New Year’s Ecards Trump All Others

After the last Christmas present has been opened and the house is quiet again, the countdown to the biggest celebration of the year begins.

New Year’s – The Mother of All Celebrations

If you think that the best of the holiday season is over with Christmas behind you, consider this – many countries in Asia, it’s not Christmas, but New Year’s that is celebrated with gusto. Even though the new year begins at different times of the year for different cultures( Chinese New Year, Hindu new year etc), almost every part of the world holds some form of New Year’s Eve celebrations on Dec 31st. New year’s eve is the occasion that boasts some of the biggest parties of the year in every part of the world.

It’s a New Year …Wherever you live

Take Times Square, for example. Every year tens of thousands of people throng to Manhattan and Times Square to witness the traditional crystal ball drop at midnight. The celebrations at the London Eye on the South Bank in London attract equally large crowds. While Christmas is more about shopping, spending time with family, exchanging gifts, singing carols and attending Mass, New Year’s is an entirely different experience.

Even people who almost never send cards, don’t skip New Year Cards

A key element differentiating New Year’s from other holidays, is the number of greeting cards and ecards people exchange on this occasion. Since, New Year’s is celebrated by people across countries, cultures and religions, it’s natural that this New Year cards are among the most popular category of greeting cards and ecards. Regardless of location, and the influence of political and economic conditions, businesses and individuals exchange New Year’s greeting cards. You send them to your clients and customers. To friends, family and colleagues. To teachers, students and almost anyone you know.

New year’s ecards and greeting cards serve important functions –

In business, sending new year wishes is a great way to build confidence, trust, goodwill, brand image and to stay in your business partners’ and clients’ memories.

Among family members and friends, new year’s cards help forge or strengthen bonds, build bridges and even offer a fresh start to a strained relationship.

Sending free new year’s ecards is one of the easiest ways to stay in touch with people you care about or who are important to you in your professional or personal life. For many people whose resolutions may include getting back in touch with long lost friends and associates, sending a free new year’s ecard is a great starter.

Whatever your reasons – whether you send them every year or have never sent out a new year card before, be it to your best friend or your boss, and no matter where you plan to ring in 2010 – don’t forget that this isn’t just any new year. It’s a new decade! And no matter what else you do, do not miss sending out free new year ecards.

Christmas Cards – What you are saying

We have created many free printable Christmas cards as a free service. We really like to hear from you and here are some of your thoughts.

I really liked how easy this was! – Sakshi

What a good selection of cards, the site is easy to get round and it was easy to set up the card.Would like to thank you for the free service – Megan

This is great – and it is actually free! – Morno

Also dont forget we have many animated christmas ecards so click here for those.

Christmas Cards