Christmas is not so much about opening presents as opening our hearts.
No Christmas present is complete without the accompaniment of a card made for the occasion. Christmas cards are one of the most bought and gifted festive articles, others being birthday cards, anniversary cards, and New Year cards. But did you ever get so curious to learn how the first Christmas card originated? If not, then you may find this piece interesting.
Handiwork of Two Friends
Sir Henry Cole, a British civil servant, was the man behind Christmas cards as we know them today. Henry was one of the exponents of postal system (then called public record office) during Victorian England. He along with his friend John Horsley, who was an artist by profession, thought up the idea of such a card in 1843. Henry was growing increasingly anxious about the piles of letters from his friends stacking up in front of him. At that time, it was considered impolite not to answer mails from near and dear ones. So, that provided the impetus to Henry for a Christmas card.
Henry and John sold the first cards they had designed for 1 shilling each. The cards showed three generations of a family raising a toast possibly to the card's recipient flanked on either side by scenes of charity to the poor.
Mass Production with the Passage of Time
As printing technologies and methods improved, people began to mass-produce Christmas cards became from about 1860. Ten years later, the cost of sending Christmas cards to far-off places dropped to half a penny, and this enabled even more people to send cards.
Homemade Christmas Cards
Many people started creating their own Christmas greeting cards at home as early as 19th century. This is seen as an answer to one’s artistic calling as well as to detach oneself from the growing commercialization of Christmas cards.
Cards in the Context of Business
Today, apart from exchanging Christmas cards between family members, friends, colleagues and lovers, numerous businesses, from local to multinational, send Christmas cards to their customers as a show of goodwill. This practice reinforces existing relationships with valuable customers by retaining brand awareness in a discreet, non-intrusive and secular way.
To round off, Christmas cards are a proof that sending greetings and wishes don’t need to be tedious and pricey. They can be as simple, easy and inexpensive as a card. Buy it from a gifts’ shop, order online or design one at home, but never forget to send a Christmas card to loved ones to ring in this festive season.