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Christmas cards are a common holiday tradition.

History Of The Christmas Card

The history of Christmas would not be complete without learning more about the history of the Christmas card. These are cards that depict traditional of humorous scenes of Christmas which are sent to friends and family members during the festive season.

The very first Christmas card was created in England in 1843 and the picture on the front of the card was drawn up by John Calcott Hawsley. This card was first commissioned by Sir Henry and it was a picture that showed the poor being fed and clothed with a middle panel featuring a family enjoying the Christmas festivities. The message on this very first card said “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you”. While history states that Sir Henry did not send any further cards next year the custom continued as more and more people started to send cards at Christmas.


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Christmas card and gift.

The Purpose Of Christmas Cards

As you might think Christmas cards were used to send messages as good fortune and good luck to friends and family for the coming year. They were used to get in touch with people and let them know that they were thinking of them during Christmas time. They were also sent to make people aware of the meaning of Christmas and remind them that not everyone was as fortunate as they were.


How Have Christmas Cards Changed?

Some of the very first Christmas cards that were produced for the holidays were designed by Ellen H Clapsaddle and Frances Brundage who were illustrators and Kate Greenaway who was a children's writer in the Victorian era. These cards were particularly popular from the late 1800s throughout the early 1900s. These cards had elaborate designs and were highly decorated with materials such as silk and satin. Many were cut into unusual shapes and some would fit together to form amazing patterns.

Some Christmas cards at this time would also feature Biblical verses or religious pictures. This was in order to express the meaning of Christmas for the Catholic and Christian religions. Cards like this are still very much in use today and they are still a very popular choice for many people.


Commercial Christmas Cards

As mentioned the first commercial Christmas card came from England and it was not until 1875 that the first Christmas cards produced in America were on the shelves. These were thanks to a German immigrant called Louis Prang who had opened up his own Lithia graphic shop which made of these cards. From here the availability of cards for Christmas exploded in America and many different shops started selling them.

Now it is possible to choose from thousands of different Christmas cards including ones that can be sent electronically. There are cards for every taste and price range and each Christmas millions are sent to people all over the world.