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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. People are genuinely joyful; the snow seems appropriate and no one seems to mind getting mail. That’s because it’s the season of holiday greeting cards, a time to observe what our friends have been up to in 2019.
Monday, December 9, is National Christmas Card Day. Let’s observe the celebration with a quick history lesson about the card that started it all.
The story dates back to the year 1843. A man by the name of Henry Cole had a problem; he had the misfortune of having too many friends. The British Postal System had recently expanded, and people could now send letters to anywhere in the country with a penny stamp.
Cole watched as a stack of letters began to form. Of course, it was considered rude not to respond, but he simply didn’t have the time to write to them all.
Then, he was struck by a brilliant idea. He asked his artistic friend J.C. Horsley if he could design something for him. Cole gave him an illustration of a three-paneled scene of a family enjoying a holiday dinner and others helping the poor. Horsley was able to print on the image a 5 1/8” x 3 ¼” piece of cardboard. At the top, there was a blank salutation so Cole could personalize his responses. The first Christmas card was born, but not without a little controversy.
Christmas cards also began appearing in the United States in the late 1840s, but they were relatively expensive. It wasn’t until 1875 when Louis Prang, a printer originally from Germany, began mass-producing the cards, so more people could afford to send them.
Nowadays, the possibilities for Christmas cards have become limitless. You can now find hundreds of blank cards with beautiful holiday scenes that you can customize like Henry Cole or create your own holiday card with favorite memories of the year. No matter which option you choose, there’s no better way to say, “Season’s Greetings!”
Do you and your family send out cards this time of year? IF so, how do you decide on your theme? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
Happy National Christmas Card Day from Lions Pride!