PRINCETON — In the days leading up to Valentine’s Day, men and women everywhere flock to the local card shops to select a sweet sentiment for their loved ones.
At Brandy’s Hallmark Shop in Princeton, shoppers begin requesting Valentine’s Day cards not long after the Christmas season wraps up.
Jill Bullington, store manager, laughs when she talks about the shoppers she watches come through the door to purchase a Valentine’s Day card.
“We get some women in here, but men are the good ones for the last day,” she said.
Bullington can recall years when there have been lines of men at the checkout on Valentine’s Day waiting to make a last-minute purchase.
“They know they have to do it,” she said, adding that a shopper recently stopped by to purchase a card for his wife. He joked that the card would keep him out of the doghouse for the next week.
While flowers, chocolates and jewelry are popular to receive on Valentine’s Day, sometimes a card expressing just how much one means to their significant other can be the most meaningful gift of all.
According to Hallmark’s website, approximately 144 million cards are exchanged industry-wide, making Valentine’s Day the second-largest holiday for giving greeting cards. Valentine’s Day is beat out only by the Christmas holiday.
During her time at Brandy’s Hallmark, Bullington has watched the Valentine’s Day greeting cards change over the years. Today, a customer can purchase a card that sings or pops up, was handmade or comes with a little plush toy.
She said the styles are always changing to stay appealing to the younger generations.
But while that may be true, Hallmark also continues to offer more traditional styles to satisfy the older generations.
The selections at Hallmark are hard to beat. A shopper can find a Valentine’s Day card for almost anyone special in their lives, including their pets. The cards also range from sentimental and mushy to humorous and lighthearted.
And as Bullington makes herself available to customers to help them choose the perfect card for that someone special, one might wonder where her own “Valentine” shops for the cards given to her.
She said her husband no longer shops at Brandy’s, because her co-workers were always quick to tell her when he’d been there. He now chooses other locations, and some years he’s even known to handmake them specially for her.