Origin of Christmas Cards

Christmas is an occasion when everyone is happy and celebrates this festival with their friends and relatives. Whether you meet in person to your loved ones on this occasion or not but somehow you have to manage to wish them best wishes. One of the ways is to send the Christmas cards. Wishing Christmas through cards is a very long tradition. As far as the history of Christmas cards is concerned, it is believed that it was originated in London, England in the late 1843. It is also known as a fact that the first Christmas card was sent by Sir Henry Cole which was printed by his friend John Callcott Horsley on request.

After that Sir Henry Cole has made an order of 1000 Christmas cards to be printed for his friends. These cards were written using lithography and the designs on the card were hand printed. Each card had a price of about 1 shilling each. These cards were also known as Victorian Era Christmas cards. These cards were done on hard cardboard material of size 5 X 3 inches. The card had the side borders and a panel at the centre. The panels designed at the corners had the pictures of poor’s being fed and clothed. At the centre of the card there was a picture of a happy family celebrating Christmas at the dinner table with three generations together. The card had a message of wishing Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

This introduction of Christmas cards to the world was a great success which led to the mass production of these cards and a huge demand from the public. In 1866 another man Mr. Josiah Goodall has contributed hugely for the mass production of the Christmas cards. This man has especially hired a set of people to lithograph the content, design the card and design the border for the card.

By 1880 the making Christmas cards become a full fledged business for the greeting cards and visiting card making companies. This has happened because of two reasons, one because the prices of the postage stamps has gone down drastically to halfpenny and the other that the design and printing industries has paced up a lot making the business companies to reduce the prices of the greeting cards. This has also helped people to send the cards at cheaper postage rate of halfpenny.  Also by this time the work of the writers and artists were recognized and given the due importance. This has led to the competition among these artists and more variety of good Christmas cards has hit the market.