Wishing you a Merry Christmas - by card

On Sunday our friend Elbi gave us a Christmas card. By ‘card’, I mean an actual paper card, in an envelope and hand-written. I loved it, since the tradition to send cards does not feature in our lives anymore. I have to admit the well-worded text message is my lazy way of sending a Christmas message! Elbi’s card instantly took me back to a bygone age, when my mother used to hang a piece of ribbon along the wall, to drape over all the cards we received. It looked like a ‘washing line’ with Santas, Rudolphs and snow-flecked pine forests along with the nativity scenes.

The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned in London in 1843. It featured an illustration of a family with a small child all drinking wine together (which proved somewhat controversial :-) and scenes of people feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. In that year two batches of cards of a 1000 each were printed and sold. Of those original cards, twelve still exist today in private collections.

Image credits: Wikipedia

Louis Prang became the first printer to offer Christmas cards in America in 1875. Today many Americans send e-cards via email, however many people still choose to send out real paper cards, often featuring specially taken photos of their families. Wonder what Louis Prang would say about the close to 2 billion (!!) paper Christmas cards that were sent in 2009 in America alone!! 

I know technology is here to make our lives easier, but I feel so inspired that next year I just might make a trip to the post office. Now to get everyone’s postal addresses – will have to email you to find out what they are :-)

Image credits: 1) Dyidreamer 2) I love rubber stamps 

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