Love is in the air — and in the mail.
More than 30 Post Offices across the nation with romantic-sounding names allow customers to send preaddressed Valentine’s Day cards, letters and more to receive a local postmark before the pieces are mailed to sweethearts.
“We’re getting packages from all over the country — and sometimes all over the world — wanting that Loveville cancellation,” said Shawn Guy, postmaster for the small Post Office in southern Maryland.
Valentine, TX, Postmaster Ismelda Ornelas estimates she gets an extra 10,000 to 14,000 mailpieces this time of year.
“It’s busier than Christmas, I’ll say that,” Ornelas said. “I have two holiday seasons. It’s rewarding, though. I get to play a part in connecting people to their loved ones.”
In addition to keeping customers interested in mail, the postmarks play a supporting role in the growing industry surrounding Valentine’s Day.
Consumers are expected to spend a record $14.2 billion on Valentine’s Day this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Greeting cards will account for 40 percent of those purchases, second only to candy, at 57 percent.
The postmarks are a source of community pride, too.
For more than 30 years, the school district in Valentine has held a contest for students to design each year’s local postmark.
In Romeo, MI, a new Valentine’s Day postmark is voted on by employees each year.
At one time, Romeo partnered with Juliette, GA, to offer a double cancellation — Romeo and Juliette — with the two Post Offices swapping requests as they came in. While that is no longer an option, the facilities remain bonded, with Juliette using the same postmark design as Romeo each year.
The Romeo team is also involved in a community Valentine’s Day event for kids. “It makes the very cold month of February a little more fun,” said Carrie Vanluven, a customer services supervisor.
Loveville’s postmark also gets love from customers beyond Valentine’s Day as a desired addition to wedding invitations.
“I actually had mine canceled here more than 20 years ago,” Guy said.