According to the history books, the first known Christmas cards were illustrated by John Callcott Horsley in London in 1843. Although the picture of a family with small children drinking wine together was controversial, the idea of sending the greeting card caught on quickly.
Interestingly, the early English Christmas cards didn’t show winter scenes or religious illustrations as we’re used to today. Instead they were covered with flowers, fairies, and other fanciful designs – to remind the recipient of the coming of spring.
During the later part of Queen Victoria’s reign Christmas cards began depicting nativity scenes, as well as winter scenes, but still with robins in them for spring.
While Christmas cards were also available in America at that time, they were hand done by artists, making them much too expensive for the normal person.
In 1875 an American printer named Louis Prang printed the first massed produced Christmas cards, thus allowing many more people to engage in the activity of exchanging greeting cards.
Prang is also the person to truly popularize yuletide greetings that featured snow scenes, fir trees, glowing fireplaces, and children playing with toys.
Although Hanukkah is a relatively minor holiday in the Jewish year, in the United States its closeness to Christmas, and the flood of Christmas advertising, has created another holiday where many greeting cards are sent during December.
Because of the growing involvement of non-Christians with the excitement, decorations, foods, and gift-giving traditions of Christmas, the holiday is becoming a non-secular one where now, instead of sending “Christmas” cards, the movement is toward the more generic inscription “Happy Holidays” on the greeting cards.
Although the modern technology of the 21st century, including email and e-cards, has caused a slight decrease in the number of holiday cards that are sent, still 1.9 billion cards were mailed in the U.S. alone in 2010.
In the U.K., Christmas cards account for almost half of the volume of greeting card sales, with over 668.9 million Christmas cards sold in the 2011 period.
Everyone seems to enjoy receiving a holiday card, and even choosing one to send is fun. It’s the writing them out that puts a crimp in holiday cheer.
When you address scores of envelopes, personally sign the cards, and even add a quick note to each one, you soon find yourself needing to soak your cramped and pained hand is a bucket of cold water.
The UGLee Pen to the rescue! This ergonomic pen is designed to take the stress out of any kind of writing. Since this pen basically grasps you instead of the other way around, your hand remains relaxed and comfortable, no matter how many people are on your holiday card list.