Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us here at USPS Stamps! We hope your day is “sealed with love.” Here’s a sweet little video from Kevin Jonas and his wife Dani made just for you.

Ribbons Symbolize Love & Respect Year-Round

Elegant and graceful, the ribbons on the 2012 Love stamp evoke the feeling of a joyous romantic celebration. We use ribbons to embellish everything from boxes of candy to bridal bouquets, adding romantic touches to gifts for our loved ones. But ribbons have come to signify other kinds of love—love that offers hope and support and validation.

LoveRibbons-Forever-single-BGv1In the 1970s, militants in Iran took diplomats in the U.S. Embassy hostage. During the crisis, the wife of one of the hostages, inspired by a popular song of the era, tied a bright yellow ribbon to the trunk of a tree in her front yard as a symbol of love and hope that her husband would return safely. The yellow ribbon was soon adopted as a manifestation of support for the men and women serving the U.S. overseas in the armed forces and diplomatic corps. (For more on the origins of the symbolism of the yellow ribbon, visit the American Folklore Center of the Library of Congress.)

Since the 1990s, ribbons of all colors have come to signify our support for a variety of causes. Breast cancer survivors and their loved ones proudly sport pink ribbons as they walk in support of the search for a cure. Red ribbons symbolize not only awareness of heart disease, but also support for those suffering from AIDS. Red, white, and blue ribbons declare patriotism and a love of country. There is no definitive list, but different colors can represent multiple causes.

Worn next to our hearts, the iconic looped ribbon is an unmistakable message of love and support. And that kind of love is also cause for joyous celebration.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for last night’s “Sealed with Love” social party! We hope you continue to write more love letters year-round.

What Grows in Your Garden of Love?

What defines a romantic garden for you? There are almost as many answers as there are gardens. Some people envision a cottage-style garden, informal in design with dense plantings and old-fashioned flowers. Others think of fragrance gardens, filled with flowering plants and herbs that intoxicate the senses. Formal gardens, with their well-ordered designs, symmetrical paths, and geometrical plantings, appeal to others. But what kind of garden do you think the artist had in mind when creating the 2011 Love stamp, Garden of Love?

GardenLove-Forever-block-BGv1Lush with green leaves and bright blossoms, illustrator José Ortega‘s vision was a fantasy garden, where hearts, subtly interwoven among the foliage, seem to bloom along with the flowers. “Garden of Love depicts the abundance of life, its generosity, whose spirit is to be shared by all its creatures,” says Ortega. “Love’s definition is broader than romantic love. Love is that colorful, full feeling you get when you enjoy being a part of and sharing in the generosity of life.”

Garden of Love was the first Love stamp to be issued in a block of ten designs and the first to bear the Forever® denomination.

SealedwithLove-2013-Forever-single-BGv2The 2013 Love stamp, Sealed with Love, was issued last month, and tonight (February 12) we are joining More Love Letters from 8 p.m.-10 p.m. (EST) for an online “Sealed with Love” social party. Come take part and fill your evening with letter writing, giveaways (!), and goodwill. You can follow along on the More Love Letters Facebook page and on Twitter. We’ll be tweeting from @USPSstamps all night and you can click into all the fun through #sealedwithlove. Get your stamps and envelopes ready. We hope to “see” you all there!

Hallmark Icon Becomes Popular Postage Stamp

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© HALLMARK LICENSING, INC.

The 2010 Love stamp, Pansies in a Basket, may have a familiar look to it—for good reason.

The floral design is a reproduction of a watercolor created by the late Dorothy Maienschein, an employee of Hallmark Cards, Inc. Introduced as a Mother’s Day card in 1939, it later became a thinking-of-you design and remains in the line today.

Dorothy Maienschein’s son spoke at the First Day of Issue ceremony, which took place at Hallmark headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri:


At the time of the stamp’s release in April 2010, Hallmark, which began tracking sales in 1942, said that almost 30 million cards with the design had been purchased—more than any other card in history.

Can Valentine’s Day Lead to Happiness?

Did the 2012 holiday season come and go in a rush? Are you feeling guilty about the holiday cards hung cheerfully on your door or mantel t2008 All Hearthat you never returned? If so, it’s not too late to send an annual greeting to your friends and family.

In her best-selling book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin describes how she sends out Valentine’s Day cards as an alternative to a December holiday greeting:

As happens to many people, about five minutes after Eliza was born, I was possessed with an irresistible urge to send out yearly holiday cards. In a decision born more out of desperation than originality, I’d decided to make a tradition of sending cards in February for Valentine’s Day, instead of in December, when life is crazy.

We love sending cards every December, but the idea of annual Valentine’s greetings is too fun to resist. Think about it: Valentine’s Day cards won’t get lost in the rush of the December holiday season. Plus, USPS issues a new stamp in the Love series every year, so your envelopes will be just as jolly and holiday-specific as those mailed in December.

This year’s Sealed With Love Forever® stamp is now available online and in Post Offices nationwide. For the procrastinators among us, that means we’ve got one week to get Valentine’s Day cards stamped and in the mail. One week to start a new annual tradition.