Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Christmas Cards

Are you receiving your share of Seasons greeting and holiday wishes from family and friends this year? The greeting card people figure there are about ten thousand different Christmas Card designs and they expect over three billion cards to be sent this year.

Christmas cards probably descended from what was once called "school pieces" or "Christmas pieces" which were popular from the beginning to the middle of the 19th century.  They were sheets of writing paper, sometimes surrounded with elaborate pen flourishes and scrolls.  They were used to school children at the approach of the holidays for carefully written letters telling about their progress in composition and showing their penmanship.

The Christmas card itself had a tentative orgin in 1846.  Joseph Cundall, a London, England artist claims to being the publisher of the first Christmas Card, but he acknowledges the idea belonged to another.  Writing in the London Times of January 2nd, 1884, Cundall said the idea came from Sir Henry Cole.  He added that the Christmas Cards were printed in Lithography, and nearly a thousand were sold.

It was not until 1862 that the Christmas card custom started to gain popularity. To begin with the cards were small in size, a little larger than a business card of today, and they were inscribed simply with " A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year." Later the cards got a little more fancy adding art work of holly branches and landscapes.

Today not only are they works of art, but we have them with musical micro-chips that play a carol to go along with the season greetings or say Ho Ho Ho.

I love it.

1 comment:

Gabi K said...

Christmas cards are something beautiful to me. Usually I don't write as many letters as I used to, since e-mail is the easier way. But these Christmas cards I write are something special to me and I take great care of them. For many years now I create them on my own. Sometimes I know the photo, taken by myself, already in January, sometimes I only find it while browsing through my photos by end of Novemer, when it is high time to think about the Christmas cards.
Same is with the words on and in the cards.

The cards are my way to express a thank you to the people that had influence on my live during the last year and to let them know, that I think of them, especially during Christmas time.

And, yes, I love receiving Christmas cards. I decorate them around the door to our living room and during the last years I made it to "come round". :-)

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