Traditions of Christmas: Christmas Cards

posted in: Christmas, Holidays | 0

“The first known ‘personalized’ Christmas Card was sent in 1891 by Annie Oakley, the famous sharpshooter and star of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. She was in Glasgow, Scotland at Christmas 1891 and sent cards back to her friends and family in the USA featuring a photo of her on it. As she was in Scotland, she’s wearing tartan in the photo! Annie reportedly designed the cards herself and they were printed by a local printer.”

Homemade cards became popular in the first two decades of the 20th Century.

The custom of charities selling seals or stickers for card envelopes originated in early 20th Century Denmark “by a postal worker who thought it would be a good way for charities to raise money, as well as making the cards more decorative. It was a great success: over four million were sold in the first year! Soon Sweden and Norway adopted the custom and then it spread all over Europe and to America.”

Queen Mary amassed a large collection of Christmas Cards that is now housed in the British Museum.

Today cards come in all shapes and sizes and can be bought in bulk at numerous stores. However, most are a standard card size or smaller. Even online Christmas Cards and images can be sent. Many people also enjoy making their own cards and with the advances of digital photography many are able to design and print their own designs. The habit of including Christmas letters to catch up on the year’s events is also included by many card senders.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first official White House Christmas card in 1953.

The first Christmas stamps were sold in 1962 in the United States for four cents.

“In December 2005, one of Horsley’s original cards sold for nearly £9,000. Collectors may focus on particular images like Santa Claus, poets, or printing techniques. The Christmas card that holds the world record as the most expensive ever sold was a card produced in 1843 by J. C. Horsley and commissioned by civil servant Sir Henry Cole. The card, one of the world’s first, was sold in 2001 by UK auctioneers Henry Aldridge to an anonymous bidder for a record breaking £22,250.”

Do you send Christmas cards?

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