Today is Valentine’s Day which is a holiday celebrated by many and detested by others.

Most of you have no real understanding of the origin of the day.  You might remember as a child exchanging cards with kids in your class. You know the ones where they were signed with someone’s full name or at least first name and initial because more than one kid had the same first name.

Of course that was also the time you might have had your heart broken for the first time because the pretty girl in your class either didn’t give you a card or just signed it with her name while another boy got one with the hugs and kisses sign.

If you Google about the origin you’ll read about these deep dark beginnings and even religious aspects before romantic love finally enters the picture a few hundred years ago.  However I’ve done my own research and can fill you in on the modern version of what February 14th is all about.

It was in the 1930s when a candy entrepreneur by the name of Russell Stover was trying to think of ways to increase sales between Christmas and Easter.  Those where his two best holidays of the year but the time in between was rough, especially in Kansas City which was his home base.

Just so happened that KC was also home to Joyce Hall who was the founder of a greeting card company that would later be named Hallmark.  Legend has it the two met for breakfast one morning and conspired to create a make-believe holiday to help spark business during February.  In the beginning of their version of Valentine’s Day it was most common to give a card and box of heart-shaped candies to a loved one and Stover and Hall were the ones who benefitted the most.

Later florists jumped in because they saw an opportunity to capitalize on the holiday and today more than 200 million roses will be sold with red the most popular.  Following them came the jewelry industry which made guys feel guilty if they didn’t buy something special or pop the big question with a nice diamond ring.

Of course whether it was a card, candy, flowers or jewelry it wasn’t special unless you had dinner at a nice restaurant. Put it all together and you have the true story of how Valentine’s Day started and got to what it is today.

In all honesty the history is a bit shady with no real definitive origin.  One thing we do know about is what’s called the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre and that often repeats itself for guys who completely forget the day itself.

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