(CNN) - Roses, chocolates and romantic dinner reservations are all essential for Valentine’s Day, but don’t underestimate the importance of the greeting card.
According to the Greeting Card Association and Hallmark, roughly 145 million Valentine's Day cards are exchanged each year.
That makes Valentine's Day the year's second largest card-sending holiday, right behind Christmas.
According to the History Channel, the tradition of exchanging tokens of affection on Valentine's Day goes back centuries.
People in the United States likely started giving hand-made valentines in the early 1700s.
America's first mass-produced Valentines showed up in the 1840s.
They were elaborate creations sold by Esther A. Howland, known as the “mother of the valentine.”