Millions of Valentine’s cards will be sent out this week as the day for love approaches Friday, Feb. 14.

According to www.history.com, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent out each year, making it the second-largest card-sending holiday, behind Christmas.

The site noted that women purchase approximately 85 percent of those Valentine’s cards.

We're thinking the men should step up their game … don't forget the card!

Here's a tip, if women think it's important enough to buy and send cards to their loved ones for Valentine’s Day … then they will probably very much appreciate and love to have a card given to them.

Society today often gets caught up in material possessions, leaving many searching through jewelry cases and dozens of rose bouquets to find that perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

But, it's often the little things, like a card, that mean the most.

The history of Valentine’s Day – and the story of its patron saint – is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance, and that St. Valentine’s Day contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Still others insist that it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was the true namesake of the holiday. He, too, was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome.

The lesson here is to not let anything stand in the way of love. For generations, people have fought for love. Maybe their love was forbidden by some rule of society … or maybe the person just didn't feel that the object of their desire would love them back. But how will you ever know unless you give them your heart? Yes, this is a good way to get your heart broken, but it's often the only way to find your soul mate.

There are those who say we should show our loved ones how we feel about them daily, not just on Feb. 14. This is true, but Valentine’s Day gives an extra opportunity to celebrate that love.

After all, love is what makes the world go 'round, right? It's worthy of its own special day.

So, be sure and show your loved one how you feel on Friday. Take the chance to remind them or to announce your feelings. There are many gift ideas to consider … flowers, candy, stuffed animals, jewelry or just a nice dinner out at their favorite restaurant. But remember one thing this Valentine’s Day … the card!

Jacksonville Progress

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