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History of the Greeting Card

Updated on June 2, 2018
Sunshine625 profile image

Linda (Kaywood) Bilyeu is a self-published author. Her books are available on Amazon. She writes from the heart—there is no other way.


Long Live the Greeting Card

Has the greeting card become extinct because of the internet? The web makes everything easier for us. Well, it does for me. The internet serves so many useful purposes, but then it also has a tendency to allow for less personal contact. This could only happen if we allow it to.

The greeting card, at one time, was a delightful surprise that we found in our mailbox tucked in between the many bills. Has the greeting card become a novelty of the past? Say it isn't so!

We could now easily send an ecard electronically for free! But is the ecard as thoughtful as receiving a card? I do not think so. While at any time some one else is thinking of us and takes the time to send a card, whichever way, we do appreciate the gesture.

Now, making the effort to take a few minutes out of your day to physically select a card, sign it, place a stamp on it and have the mail carrier deliver it is much more thoughtful. This means that you took the time out of your busy schedule to make a heartwarming effort so that your recipient could feel even more loved.

Believe it or not greeting cards are still in vogue! I do not think they have become prehistoric like the dinosaurs. Heck, there are even cards to give to your pets and they can't even read...or can they? There are cards that play music, over and over and over again. The cards that you could add your own voice to are neat gifts as long as you do not have a high voice that tends to screech. I haven't sent a voice card to anyone yet. Probably never will.

There doesn't have to be a specific holiday to send a card...just send a card because you are thinking of that special someone.

Burst of Sunshine
Burst of Sunshine | Source

When is the last time you mailed a greeting card?

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Greeting Card History

Greeting cards began among the ancient Chinese. They shared greetings with others to celebrate the new year.

The early Egyptians also spread their celebratory message via a papyrus scroll. In the early 15th century handmade cards began to be exchanged in Europe.

In 1400, Germany created cards made of woodcuts.

By the mid-15th century Europeans were spreading the love with handmade valentine cards.

By the 1850's the greeting card had gained popularity. The postage stamp was also introduced which benefited the sender as postage rates became cheaper. It was about this time that the Christmas card exchange began to flourish and this tradition continues today.

Except as many of you may have noticed, the exchanging of holiday cards is beginning to dwindle. Some of you might be disappointed in this fact. Some of you might be relieved. Due to social media making it easier to wish your friends and family a Merry Christmas, many folks do not bother to send a card.

Once is the thought that counts.

More than $7 billion is spent each year in the US on greeting cards so obviously some people still enjoy exchanging cards. Count me in!

Note cards / Greeting cards
Note cards / Greeting cards | Source

Sunshine's History of Greeting Cards

I began to give cards to family and friends when I was a youngen. I enjoyed witnessing the expression on my recipients faces as I gave them their handmade card. I eventually graduated to store bought cards, there is only so long that you can get away with giving homemade cards as gifts, then again they continue to be my favorite cards that I receive from my family and friends.

Due to my love of receiving and giving greeting cards I began to design my own cards. I capture the photos that inspire me to create the card. I use my imagination to implement the finishing touches on the perfect card that I would want to give or that my customers would want to purchase and give to their loved ones.

I prefer note cards instead of cards that specify the occasion. I like to write my own message inside the card which is geared to the specific recipient. Store bought greeting cards have some awesome messages, I could stand at the card section for quite a while, reading cards and laughing, or sighing depending on which section I am browsing.

Cards have so much meaning to them, they are a gift that requires such little of our time and could last a lifetime. I have cards that I was given years ago, just a handful, I am not a pack rat.

Which cards do you prefer?

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Other Uses For Greeting Cards

While greeting cards are great to give, there are also a few non-traditional uses for greeting cards...such as:

  • Place cards in a frame to display on walls. You could change your decor as often as you like for no cost to you!
  • Cards could also be used as a place mat. Place multiple cards together on a piece of thin cardboard. Use laminating film to give your placemat a finish look and also make them easy to clean and also waterproof.
  • Children could use them to make a collage for holidays or special occasions.
  • If the back side of the greeting card is blank, you could use it as a postcard, be sure and use correct postage if you intend to mail it. You could also use the front of the card as a gift tag.
  • You could create bookmarks. Cut up cards as you see fit. Using a hole puncher, punch a hole out on top and insert a piece of ribbon.
  • Donate the appropriate cards to schools for cut and paste activities and for letter hunts.
  • Use cards for scrapbooking.
  • Create a flipbook. Remove the backside of the card, keep the front/photo side. When you have enough cards to create the flipbook, once again, using a hole puncher, punch holes and then use string to tightly secure the cards together. When those steps are complete flip through the cards quickly to use your flipbook. This idea is from my 9 year old granddaughter, Faith.

Do you have any ideas on how to recycle cards? If so, please share your ideas below in the comment section.

How to Create Greeting Cards

Will you start sending more greeting cards now?

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It's the little things that matter...


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