The Gunderson’s Guide to Valentine’s Day

Here at Gunderson’s, we’re really excited for Valentine’s Day! Every year, we look forward to wearing red, celebrating love, and just reveling in all the good things happening around us. Just in case you need a refresher as to why 2/14 is a Big Deal, here’s a quick look at what makes the day so special.

First, let’s take a closer look at the saintly figure this whole enterprise is centered around: the man known as San Valentino, or Valentinus to his Roman neighbors. While there are three men named Valentine that were martyred in the 1st Century, the most plausible story is the one of a Christian who ministered to those persecuted under the oppressive Roman regime. Refusing to renounce his beliefs, he was executed on February 14th way back in the year 269 AD. He must have made an impression, because over 200 years later, in 496, Pope Gelasius I established the Feast of Saint Valentine on that date. I don’t know if Val himself got to decide what his feast day celebrated, but officially, St. Valentine is the patron saint of epilepsy and beekeeping. I wonder if his wife called him honey…?

The feast day, historically coinciding with the first spring weather in Europe, began to attract a romantic reputation during the Middle Ages. It was believed that birds began to mate and nest on February 14th, and the association carried over to human relationships as well. When the Bard himself, Willie Shakespeare, mentions Valentine’s Day in not one but two of his plays—you know the holiday is a big deal.

Around 250 years after Shakespeare celebrated his last V-Day, the postage stamp was invented, and a small printing press in England took a chance on starting a trend and printed Valentine’s Day cards for the first time. A year after their initial release, over 400,000 cards were purchased and mailed. It took twenty more years, not until 1868, for chocolatier Cadbury to produce the first heart-shaped box of chocolates. Today, the United States Greeting Card Association estimates that 190 million valentines are sent every year. When combining the cards handed out in valentine-exchanges, that number climbs to over 1 billion cards exchanged. That’s a lot of paper! Might we suggest something that lasts a little longer…?

At Gunderson’s, we’re excited to put the romance back in Valentine’s Day. Remember that first February 14th with that special person in your life? Let’s celebrate that feeling! Love endures with the memories you build with your partner. Cherish the chance to celebrate this Valentine’s Day with a gift from Gunderson’s. Our jewelry and gifts are made to last as long as your love story does. If you’re lucky enough to have someone to pass it down to, it may become part of their story too.

We’ve put together a list of best-sellers to make your shopping easy. No matter if this is your first or thirtieth year together, put some romance back in your life with a valentine from Gunderson’s.