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Christmas Cards: How the Tradition Started and Essential Tips to Remember

Sending Christmas cards is an old tradition that we all know too well. At some point, you probably have tried creating and designing your own cards to give to people, making the gesture even more personal.

But the truly amazing thing is that, despite the age of emails and Facebook greetings that we’re living in, there are still lots of people who carry on with this tradition. Still, plenty of people love sending and receiving Christmas cards every year.

How did we start sending Christmas cards?

The idea of Christmas cards started with Henry Cole, a civil servant and entrepreneur, in 1843. During the time, Cole found his hands full to write and send his customary Christmas letters.

He then commissioned his artist friend, John Callcott Horsley, to design a card that he would send to his friends and colleagues. Horsley’s illustration showed a Victorian family who was raising a toast to the recipient over a banner that says “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you”.

A thousand copies of this was made and hand-colored by William Mason, a professional colorer. Afterwards, Cole’s business partner sold the leftover cards for a one shilling each. This was an expensive price for cards, so it wasn’t until the 1860s when they finally became popular.

What should I keep in mind when sending Christmas cards?

Giving cards to the people that matter to you should be an enjoyable experience. This is the only way that you could be able to send across genuine and positive feelings to the recipients.

Keep these three W’s in mind when sending your Christmas cards.

When to send Christmas cards

Ideally, your cards should reach the recipients in early or mid December. This can be quite a challenge, though, especially since the post office becomes extremely busy during the holiday season. With this considered, make sure to send your cards as early as possible. Take some time off in October to write your Christmas cards, add postage, and basically prepare them all for sending after Thanksgiving. This way, your cards won’t feel rushed , and it would be less stressful for you as well.

What to write in your Christmas cards

This usually depends on who will be receiving the card. As a general rule, you can begin with a simple Christmas greeting and then a short personalized message. You can be funny or cheerful depending on your relationship with the recipient, but just make sure that you’re still being appropriate. Of course, don’t forget to sign your cards!

Whom to send your Christmas cards

One of the worst things that could happen is to have your holiday cards mixed up. For instance, sending Christmas cards to families that don’t celebrate it. A lot of people go for generic greetings like “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” to be on the safe side. However, feel free to use more personalized cards if you’re sending them to your family or to the people who are really close to you.




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Gladdys Garcia

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