- Holidays and Celebrations
How Did The Tradition of Sending Christmas Cards Start
History of Christmas Cards
I enjoy getting a card in the mail from old friends, but the tradition seems to be fading away with the new eCards. The higher cost of postage may be hurting the tradition too.
My Mom always hung the cards around doorways and they were as much a part of Christmas as the tree and the Nativity set. I now hang them along the woodwork that goes down our open stairway. They are always so bright and add cheer during the season.
Sending Christmas cards started in 1843 by a man named Sir Henry Cole. He was a big supporter of the Public Postal system and was a civil worker. He thought sending cards would help out the post office financially by giving the common man something to receive and mail.
He and John Horsley, an artist came up with the idea. John Horsley, designed the first card. It was made with 3 panels, rather than 2. I still like the 3 paneled ones, because they can sit on the mantel.
It was much later that the first card was produced in the US. In 1875, Louis Pang created one. The idea became popular here quickly.
How Much Did They Cost?
The first Christmas cards were sold for what is equal to 8 cents today. Even though that doesn't sound like much at today's rates, that was a lot of money back then.
Now pre-made cards can be as much as $5 each or you can buy a cheap box at a dollar store with several cards for just $1.
Christmas Cards are Still Popular
Even though so many eCards are now being sent, a survey taken after the 2013 Christmas season says that 2/3 of people still send them. Sending the cards had not gone down since the 2009 survey. Higher postage rates don't seem to be stopping anyone either.
Only 6% say they plan on sending fewer cards then the year before. 80% plan on sending either the same amount or more in the coming season.
Personally, we aren't getting as many as we once did and the higher rates are keeping me from sending to those that no longer send them back.The cards are still a big part of the Christmas celebrations for me. I love to go to the mailbox and find one from a family member or friend.
I'm sure they are still helping the post office as was their original intent. People like me will not stop sending them.
What is Your Favorite Part of Christmas?
Have the Cards Changed?
Cards with popular paintings aren't as widely used as they once were. Most cards now have family photos or photos of pets.
Creating your own cards in now popular. See the accompanying videos for great ideas or get creative and come up with some of your own designs.