Scott Saporiti is the President/CEO of SAPORI, an online greeting card and stationery company headquartered in Valparaiso, IN.
Visit us at saporistationery.com for VersaNotes, box sets, gifts, stationery and more.
Will You Be My Valentine? Why we send Valentine’s Day cards.
The origins of Valentine’s Day lie in between the mysteries of folklore and fact, from multiple martyrs, a Pope and the birds’ mating season in Europe. What stands out from my research is that for whatever reason, or no reason, the holiday has been celebrated in one capacity or another for over 15 centuries with heart-pounding expectation, passion and romance.
Let’s start with the name. Valentine’s Day was born out of Christian and Roman tradition. The Catholic Church recognized three saints named Valentine, all of which were known martyrs. Each has their own folklore allegedly linking them to the origin of the holiday. The best story was from one imprisoned Valentine who had fallen in love with his jailor’s daughter. Before his death he sent her a letter signed “From your Valentine.” The legend made him one of the most popular, heroic and romantic saints in Europe.
Then there is the date. February 14th. The first actual celebration day was February 15th. The Church tried to christianize the pagan fertility celebration of Lupercalia which was held on that day. At the end of the 5th century it was deemed unchristian and outlawed, while at approximately the same time Pope Gelasius declared February 14 to be St. Valentine’s Day.
So the date is now set, but how did this day come to be a romantic holiday? During the Middle Ages in France and England, February 14th was believed to be the beginning of birds’ mating season which added to the idea of the day of romance. The most famous expression of love linking the day is Geoffrey Chaucer’s reference to Valentine’s Day in The Parliament of Fowls, poetry which depicts birds choosing their mates on the feast day: ‘For this was on Seynt Valentynes day, Whan every foul cometh there to chese his make’. [For this was on Saint Valentine’s Day, when every bird comes to choose his mate].
The oldest written Valentine first appeared in 1415. Charles, the imprisoned Duke of Orleans, sent the handwritten love note to his wife from the Tower of London. It can be viewed at the British Library in London.
By the 1700s Valentine’s Day celebrations had gained much in popularity. Two centuries later, the mass produced Valentine’s Day card called “mechanical Valentines” became popular over the handwritten note due to new printing technologies in Europe.
In the 1840s, Ester A. Howland, known as the "Mother of the Valentine” began selling the first mass-produced Valentine’s cards in America.
Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, 1 billion Valentines are sent each year, second only to 2.6 billion Christmas cards. They are not just for lovers either. Friends, teachers, family members and children exchange or send these out. Men need to pay attention and get in the game… 85% of these cards are purchased by women.
Scott Saporiti is the President/CEO of SAPORI Stationery, an online greeting card and stationery company headquartered in Valparaiso, IN.
Visit us at www.saporistationery.com for Valentine box sets, gifts, stationery and more.
Happy Thanksgiving to You!
We appreciate your continued patronage at SAPORI.CO! These great deals are being offered below so that you have a chance to shop early and still focus on family and the Thanksgiving holiday.
There are great discounts to be shared at SAPORI.CO this week!
Spend $150 and SAVE $25 off your purchase.
We all know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but there are two other days worthy of your consideration.
Small Business Saturday is Nov. 26th. This day was set aside six years ago to support and celebrate small business and what they do for our communities.
Giving Tuesday is November 29th. A great day started in 2011 where we can reflect on our own blessings after Thanksgiving and share financial support with charities either local, national or global.
This guide should make your holiday communications a little bit easier.
DO start early. (Start thinking about your letter at the beginning of November. That's now!)
DON’T rush. Write. Edit. Sleep on it. Write. Edit. Sleep some more.
DO check your facts. Ask those mentioned in the letter about the information you are writing about.
DON’T brag about your talented children, your travels or all of your successes. Describe them instead, it is received with more interest.
DO choose a theme for your letter. Title the theme and let your personal events interweave throughout the story.
DON’T overwrite your letter. Remember to edit. Here is the Holiday Letter Length Rule of Thumb: The longer the letter, the fewer people you should send it to. A half page is appropriate for over 100 recipients. A full page for less than a 100 recipients and two pages if you have less than 25.
DON’T overuse your adjectives. It is kind of like bragging and can turn people off and even cause envy. Describe your events instead. What you saw, felt or tasted. Stay away from words like fabulous, prestigious, phenomenal, magical and incredible.
DON’T describe all your aches and pains, the weather or politics.
DO personalize your form letter with a few handwritten sentences at the bottom directed to the recipient.
DO end your letter with meaning. Build off of a nice sentiment like “You are very special to us.” or “Our best wishes to you and your family for the New Year”and keep going.
DO save a copy of your annual letter as an archive of events and people for your family.
DO clean up your mailing list. Update the list right after the holidays and then again in November. Check for those you need to add, remove or change.
This should help you navigate the holiday letter maze with a little less stress. That is what we are here for!
Don’t forget to write!
Until next time.
Information referenced from the book "The Art of the Personal Letter" by Margaret Shepherd
“Christmas cards are a thing of the past.” I have heard.
Yes, they are! A wonderful, rich, “feels like a hug” tradition going way back to a time where social etiquettes were much more rigid, yet, politeness and civility were the norm. Christmas cards were sent and responded to in equal measure with great anticipation.
Fast forward almost 175 years, 1.5 billion cards are mailed at Christmastime. It seems like a big number but the tradition of sending cards has actually seen a slow decline. I personally don't think our anticipation has declined... I always look forward to the mailbox at Christmastime.
Some may be too busy, too tired or think that the internet is a fine substitute. I am okay with the later if a physical card is an unaffordable option. However, for most, it is accessible during the season of giving. The time of year when we have the opportunity to unconditionally reach out and share our lives and well wishes with our loved ones.
Stop to think a minute about what it means to your friends and family, some you don’t see very often, to drop them a note and let them know in your own hand that you are thinking of them at the holidays and throughout the year. It is truly the best gift ever.
This part is REALLY interesting!
The History of the Christmas Card
Picture this… Merry old England, 1843, Victorian A-lister, Sir Henry Cole was so overwhelmed with the number of friends he had that he could not keep up with his holiday correspondence. The British postal system, called the “Penny Post” had made it very easy for anyone to send correspondence anywhere in the country for just a penny stamp.
His problem was that his status and social etiquette required him to respond to every card he received. He turned to his close friend and artist, J.C Horsley, with a new, inventive idea to illustrate a Christmas-inspired card that he could easily personalize and mail. The first Christmas card was created. One thousand, 5 1/8” x 3 ¼” cards were reproduced on cardboard that first year. The image was of a family celebrating the holidays while other people helped the poor. This is depicted in the opening image.
The Christmas card slowly caught on and had its next surge in 1875 when Prussian immigrant, Louis Prang from Boston, MA, created the first card in America. The image was a painting of a flower.
In 1915, Mr. Joyce Hall and his brothers, Rollie and William, from Kansas City, MO, officially changed the Christmas card industry by altering the format to a folded 4” x 6” folded card placed in an envelope. This allowed for more space to write without having to pen an entire letter.
Ten years later their company would come to be known as Hallmark. (Didn’t see that coming!)
They commissioned many famous artists like Salvador Dali, Norman Rockwell, and even Jacqueline Kennedy to keep up with the demand of their products.
The most popular Christmas card ever created was by Hallmark. The image is of three angelic cherubs, created in 1977, with the message “God bless you, keep you and love you… at Christmastime and always.” They have sold 34 million copies of this card and it is still available in their collection.
SAPORI honors the tradition of holiday correspondence with three separate, colorful and bold collections, Town & Country Holiday, GeoChristmas and Holiday Doors. The SAPORI Holiday Collections along with a wonderful variety of other beautiful stationery and paper products are available online at www.saporistationery.com.
Researched through Smithsonian and Wikipedia
When I began processing the concept of SAPORI in 2014, there was an unfiltered creative response from my right brain. While the left side was in distress over the incredible disregard for my perfectionist Virgo-organized self. Oh the expectations! The burden! I love it!
I realized immediately that I needed a plan, a schedule and a vision for the future before I could even start. Sadly, for those I live with, it meant everything I saw was a potential "new idea" and I had to cut it out, print it out, buy it, or take a photo of it. I stored them away squirrel-like waiting for the right moment... and then the fun began!
Since May, I have been able to channel a lot of my inspirations and travels into my designs and I truly believe that SAPORI - Colorful and Bold. Flavored to Taste., will find a home in the hearts of design enthusiasts and creative communicators.
So... what is coming next?
The SAPORI Town & Country Holiday Collection (mid-November)
(A 3-dimensional mix of three plaids paired with woodgrain creating timeless holiday correspondence. )
The SAPORI Holiday Door Collection (mid-November)
(A welcoming 3-dimensional mix of six colorful and bold holiday wreaths attached to the soon to be iconic SAPORI front door correspondence card.)
Introducing Snow & Graham, a Chicago-based paper products company joins the SAPORI product mix. (mid-November)
and then watch for my blog posts...
CHRISTMAS CARDS. Why? (November 7 Blog)
GREETINGS! How to Write an Annual Holiday Letter (November 14 Blog)
YOU ARE VERY SPECIAL TO ME! Black Friday/Cyber Monday Offers (November 21 Blog)
Don't forget to write.
Welcome to SAPORI!
I am very close to the word Sapori, an Italian word for "taste". It is part of my last name, part of my culture, part of me. It seems like the perfect name for my new company where I get to share part of myself and my tastes with you.
There was a time when I thought that starting a new company was outside of my grasp, the gold ring hanging strategically 'just far enough away' where I would miss it on each go around. Then something happened. I just went for it! I reached a little further with all the passion I could find inside myself and just did it. Viola! Here we are! Viva SAPORI!
A big thank you to my husband Mark who encourages me to follow my dreams and my two sons, Christian and Hunter, for reminding me about self-discipline and "an eye on the prize" work ethic.
I have always enjoyed bold color, interesting textures and clean modern design. But, I also love traditional patterns, color palettes and imagery. The SAPORI Collection is a great example of patterns and colors that work together and can also stand by themselves.
I appreciate fine design and luxe items like the beautiful and creative products I have curated from talented artisans all over the country. There are many handcrafted cards, journals and gifts available in the Holiday and Guest collections.
I also like to uncover the playful and whimsy like the WAFF collection for adults and kids alike. This creative entreprenuer started her company with her ideas and her waffle maker!
I hope you enjoy the site and look forward to your patronage and your feedback.