What ever happened to the traditional Christmas card?
What ever happened to the traditional Christmas card? Many will remember back to the time when Christmas cards portrayed nativity scenes, images of churches, snow scenes, robins, coach and horses, children, etc. Nowadays, the choice detailed on the front of a Christmas card could have anything included. Christmas cards depict all sorts of images such as, cartoon characters, Father Christmas, joke content, cuddly bears etc. etc. The internal content has also changed from a traditional Christmas message of goodwill to more unimaginative prose such as ‘Merry Christmas’ leaving the writer of the card to insert their own message.
Sir Henry Cole, back in 1843, is cited with starting the custom of sending Christmas cards within the United Kingdom. Sir Henry was a civil servant who was interested in the new ‘Public Post Office’ and how more ordinary people would use the service.
Sir Henry had the idea of Christmas Cards with his friend John Horsley, who was an artist. They designed the first card and sold them for 1 shilling each. (5p in today’s money).
Almost all main-stream Charities now have Christmas cards available as this is an extremely useful source of raising income from their supporters. Christmas cards can also be recycled in various ways to raise additional funds. Some charitable organisations will make gift tags for re-sale, large supermarkets will have collection points for customers to dispose of their cards which are recycled to support organisations such as The Woodland Trust.
In 1994 the ecard was launched and has over the years become very popular, the sender can personalise their message, choose animated story cards whilst background music is played to enhance the experience of the recipient.
The largest supplier of Christmas cards today in the United Kingdom is Hallmark cards which was set up in 1915 by John C. Hall and his two brothers.
One of the newer types of Christmas Card is the photo card. Many people now send personalised cards, with a photograph of them and or their family. Politicians have taken to this trend recently with the current Prime Minister, David Cameron, issuing a Family Photo for his festive card this year. Celebrity family, the Kardashian’s, reportedly spent $250,000 on a photograph for their Christmas card recently showing that it’s a huge business!
Many people now design and prepare their own cards, the craft hobbyist is ever present in this area as they are relatively easy and cheap to make. Schools and organisations such as the Girl Guides and Scouts Associations also involve young children who make a card for ‘mum and dad’ or grandparents. Why not design your own cards and include a personal message to a friend or loved one become creative and delight the recipient. To get your creative juices flowing consider enrolling on NCC Home Learning’s Creative Writing Diploma to unleash your inner poet, write a personal journal or perhaps a novel, the list is limitless.