Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The History of the Christmas Card

As I was searching for inspirational Christmas stories, I came across the "History of the Christmas Card" which I found quite interesting. I thought others might find this history interesting too. The web page source:


The tradition of sending Christmas cards begun in 1843 – about the same time as the first Christmas seal was published. The first Christmas card was produced in England, and the idea was well-received, because the following year, more than 25,000 Christmas cards were sold. However, the first Christmas card provoked controversy in certain circles in England, because the Christmas card pictured a company of people touching glasses and saying “Merry Christmas”. Putting alcohol and holy Christmas in one picture did not please the English citizens then.

For more than thirty years, Americans had to import greeting cards from England. In 1875, German immigrant to the U.S. Louis Prang, opened a lithographic shop with $250, and published the first line of U.S. Christmas cards. His initial creations featured birds and flowers, unrelated to the Christmas scene. By 1881, Prang was producing more than 5 million Christmas cards per year.

Today, Christmas cards come in all shapes and sizes -- from small and simple to big and colorful. The big American producer of Christmas cards, Hallmark, employs a whole army of Christmas card designers who produce new Christmas cards every season. The most popular cards are the old fashioned and nostalgic ones with sledges and pixies, and a big, chubby Santa Clause in a red and white coat.
Since the Internet became widespread in the middle of the 90’s, sending electronic Christmas cards became the trend.

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