Why do we send Christmas Cards?

Why do we send Christmas Cards?

Almost every family receives Christmas cards
each holiday season. Where did this tradition begin? Why is it such a big part of our Christmas
tradition? The first Christmas cards were sold in London
in 1843. They were illustrated by an artist named John
Calcott Corsley, and the original card featured an image of a family celebrating Christmas. A total of 2,050 cards were printed and sold
for one shilling each. Most people today would not recognize an early
English Christmas card. Cards of today feature winter scenes or religious
imagery. However, in the late 1800s, cards would have
had scenes of fairies or flowers. These types of images were designed to evoke
thoughts of the coming spring. The first American Christmas cards were produced
by Louis Prang in 1875. Christmas cards continued to grow in popularity,
both in America and Europe, over the course of the late 1800s and early 1900s. Christmas cards took on a different meaning
during both World Wars, as Patriotic themes reigned. In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower sent out the first
official White House Christmas card. Originally, the White House card was sent
to about 2,000 households, but is now sent to more than one million homes! Not all countries send Christmas cards. For example, in the Czech Republic, the holiday
that is stressed is New Year’s Day rather than Christmas. While the cards are typically mailed out prior
to Christmas, the importance is placed on wishing a Happy New Year rather than a Merry
Christmas. As time has progressed, the themes and images
have continued to change with the times. Modern Christmas cards can present a menagerie
of designs, from dramatic depictions of the nativity, to images of Santa Claus and his
reindeer, or perhaps scenic winter nature scenes. Modern technologies such as email and the
internet have taken a toll on Christmas card sales. However, many families still find time to
mail out cards to friends and family members. In fact, it is estimated that nearly two billion
Christmas cards are sent each year, and each household receives an average of approximately
twenty cards each holiday season.

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