Though sending warm winter wishes at Christmas time has been a tradition for centuries, the first commercially produced Christmas card was commissioned in London on May 1, 1843 by Sir Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callcott Horsley. The printing firm Prang and Meyer began selling Christmas cards in the United States in 1874. By the 1880s, the firm was selling more than five million holiday cards a year. Christmas cards really took off during World War I with the establishment of Hallmark Cards by Joyce and Rollie Hall in 1913 and the inclination to send soldiers warm wishes at Christmas.
Christmas cards have been a tradition ever since that really exploded with the outbreak of World War II. Sending Christmas cards continues to be a common tradition, even today. In an era when everything is done digitally and online, the act of sending your friends and loved ones warm wishes at Christmas has survived. The reality is that emails and texts are impersonal, and often sent as an after-thought. Christmas cards, on the other hand, lets someone know you authentically care about them and that you think about them throughout the year.
As much of a part of Christmas as putting up the Christmas tree and decking the halls, sending Christmas cards remains a wonderful tradition. Some folks are committed to finding and sending the cutest card they can find, even sometimes coming up with their own family photo cards. So much so that the average American household received 15-20 Christmas cards every year. Though the numbers have declined with the evolution of the internet and its free, instantaneous holiday cards available to anyone who knows how to Google, there are still nearly 2 billion Christmas Cards sent in the United States, annually.
Christmas cards are important for keeping in contact with those you love, care about, or genuinely don’t get to spend enough time with. They allow anyone the opportunity to include a personal message while sending tidings of joy. They are a great alternative to having to send a gift: you’re showing you were thinking about the person you have sent it to.
This Christmas or whatever winter festivities you take part in, send someone you love a holiday card. Christmas Cards can be religious, to non-denominational, funny, to animated—or even just a winter greeting card. Send a little lovin’ and some human spirit through a Christmas card to someone you care about is a great way to show you actually do. It’s the thought that counts.