Greet the Season with Holiday Greeting Cards

It’s probably a fair statement to say that we all enjoy receiving Christmas cards, but sending them out can be quite a chore. For many of us in today’s fast paced highly technological world, it’s probably the only letter or note we’ll send out through the mail to friends and family the entire year. But have you ever stopped to wonder how the tradition of sending Christmas cards began?

The Christmas card is a Victorian creation, which began as a kind of stationery. The first card was produced by Sir Henry Cole who worked for the British Postal Service, and an artist he hired named John Horsley. This early card was a depiction of a Christmas scene framed in three panels. In the center panel was a homey table scene: children, parents and grandparents seated and some raising their glasses for a toast. On either side were panels depicting acts of Christmas charity: to the left, feeding the hungry; to the right, clothing the naked, and wished people a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Holiday greeting cards were actually preceded by notes sent home by English school boys to their parents called Christmas pieces. They not only told of how and what they were doing during their time away at school, but also served as a testament to their continually improving writing skills.

Today’s Christmas cards can be anything from humorous to religious, simple to ornate, small to large, and everything in between. They can include photos and letters about family milestones. They can even be used to decorate your home with during the holiday season. It’s a tradition that’s in danger of fading out in light of all the high technology communications options that are currently available.

So, encourage your children to sit down with you when you make out your yearly Christmas cards this season, and teach them the joy of sending them to friends and family.

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