Christmas cards are one of the most popular holiday traditions we have today. They are mailed out all over the world to friends, family and acquaintances during the holiday season ever year. They are available in any size, shape or color imaginable, and with a countless variety of thoughtful messages. However, some may be interested in learning about the history of Christmas cards and how they came to be so popular in our society today.
The history of Christmas cards goes all the way back to the year 1843, where the very first Christmas card on record was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole. The illustration, which depicted a family, including a small child, enjoying wine together, was created by the artist John Calcott Horsley. The illustration, and the concept of the Christmas card itself, created a fair amount of controversy. However, one thousand of the cards were reproduced, and each one sold for one shilling. This was how the Christmas card came into being.
Most Christmas cards come in religious themes, though they can also come in themes ranging from modern art to humorous and anything else imaginable. Surprisingly enough, the earliest Christmas cards were not often designed with a religious theme. The designs typically depicted cheerful colors and floral art to symbolize a celebration of the coming spring. The history of Christmas cards seems to have been mostly about the promise of hope.
Another interesting tidbit in the history of Christmas cards relates to the first royal Christmas card. During the 1840s, England’s Queen Victoria produced a royal Christmas card, and the royal family has continued the tradition of producing one each year, typically in the form of a seasonal family portrait. American president Dwight D. Eisenhower is also known to be a “first” in sending out Christmas cards, as he issued his Christmas card in the year 1953.
Many people are now becoming very environmentally conscious when it comes to sending out their Christmas cards. Every year, with millions of cards being bought, they are read once and then thrown away. However, there are now receptacles in place for recycling these paper goods. Several companies are even selling cards which are made only from recycled materials. Another great way that people are utilizing for giving out Christmas cards that are environmentally friendly are with E-cards. With E-cards, one can send out as many cards as they could possibly need over the Internet, eliminating any paper waste and saving the cost of stamps. In addition, E-cards are often free. If the past history of Christmas cards is any indication, no matter which type of card one chooses to send, the card industry is still going to be booming for years to come.