The Story of the Christmas Card

I was participating in a quiz the other day and was fascinated to learn the origins of the first Christmas card. This got me thinking about how times have changed. Nowadays we are used to receiving Christmas greetings in a variety of formats, both print and electronic, to pass on traditional wishes, but look back c.150 years and things were rather different.

Henry Cole was the inventor of the first Christmas card, which he sent in 1843. He was another Victorian who was considered ahead of his time and commissioned an artist to hand draw an image of a family Christmas dinner. Cole subsequently had the ingenuous idea of selling his cards and arranged to have his card printed. Take up for the commercialisation of the first Christmas card was initially slow, but by the 1870s, was firmly entrenched as a Christmas tradition. [Source]

The Story of the Christmas CardFast forward c.150 years, the printed Christmas card is still relevant today, but new inventions and technical developments have meant our consumer buying decisions are different. We not only have the ability to keep this Victorian tradition going by purchasing a printed card, but can run with modernity and design our own e-cards. Whatever method you chose the basic sentiment hasn’t changed – Merry Christmas everyone!