Have you ever thought about why we send out Christmas Cards to friends and family? Sending Christmas cards is an important part of the holiday traditions for many people. There is something to be said about opening a Christmas card from a distant friend or relative, knowing that you are in their thoughts. It is not a bill. It is a connection and a sharing of the festive season. This is especially true for people who may not be as tech savvy as others.
It all started back in 1843 in the United Kingdom by a gentleman named Sir Henry Cole. Along with his friend, John Horsley, they designed the first Christmas card. Around 2000 cards were sold that year. As printing methods improved, Christmas cards became more popular. The custom was very popular in Germany and spread all over Europe in the early 1900s.
It was in the late 1840s that Christmas cards appeared in the United States. Many people could not afford them though. In 1874, Louis Prang started mass producing cards that people could afford. John Hall and his brothers created Christmas cards in 1915, adding to their greeting cards already being produced. Hallmark Cards is one of the biggest card makers today. Their success rose during World War I with the demand for cards to be sent to soldiers at war.
The Christmas card is sent to convey a wide range of sentiments between people. Many cards express Christian sentiments and others contain seasonal figures like Santa Claus, snowmen, Christmas trees and more. Even though Christmas is a Christian holiday, religious cards did not appear until around 1890. Each era has made its presence felt in the design and message of the Christmas card. Psychedelic colors, peace symbols, nostalgia, sophistication and high-tech themes have all made their appearance through the years.
The number of cards received by Americans has dropped as social media, email and telephones make it easier for people to communicate. Many people feel that email is not personal enough for a holiday card though. A personal message, added to their Christmas card, shows the recipient that their friendship with the sender is important. Close to two billion Christmas cards are sent each year in America alone. Let’s keep the tradition alive and well this year and in the years to come.