The tradition of sending Christmas greetings in the form of cards has been a part of our family as long as i can remember. But where did this tradition start?
King James the 1 of England was given a card type correspondence in 1610. But the innovative mass mailing of an illustration was created by an educated and patron of the arts in 1843. Henry Cole was a busy man. But the Christmas letters, so popular in Victorian England were piling up. It was felt to be rude not to respond to a personal letter. He came up with a plan.
Cole contracted with an artist friend to produce a holiday portrait of a family at a dinner table with all members holding a glass of wine in a toast.
A banner on the top of the picture had the words Greetings with a blank space for personalizing the card. On the bottom of the picture the words Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year were printed.
Cole took the prototype to a printer where a 1000 cards were printed. He could respond to the many letters with a beautiful card.
In England, the postal office had invented a stamp for prepaying for letter sending. The new stamp helped increase the writing and sending of Christmas letters.
Printers in this country started to print and sell groups of holiday cards to send. Now the custom of sending Christmas cards generate nostalgia. The use of a special card along with a personal greeting or letter has continued.
My husband, John and I do the cards together. My job is to place the stamps and return address on the envelope. I write the Christmas letter and select the card to be sent.
John writes the addresses and the brief note inside the card. We take turns thinking what to write to each person.
We finish 10 to 12 cards a day until they are completed. This helps to keep the personal notes fresh.
This year, we have sent out more cards that normal. People that we don’t see for years are contacted to keep them in our loop. We hope to find that all are well and staying safe.
So take some time a send a card or two. Especially remember the disabled and elderly you know. They will appreciate hearing from you. They will use the card to decorate their home.
To my readers who share the blog with me.
Happy New Year,