Christmas Cards…

merry-christmas-card (16k image)

A relatively recent phenomenon, the sending of commercially printed Christmas cards originated in London in 1843.
Previously, people had exchanged handwritten holiday greetings. First in person. Then via post. By 1822, homemade Christmas cards had become the bane of the U.S. postal system. That year, the Superintendent of Mails in Washington, D.C., complained of the need to hire sixteen extra mailmen. Fearful of future bottlenecks, he petitioned Congress to limit the exchange of cards by post, concluding, “I don’t know what we’ll do if it keeps on.”
Not only did it keep on, but with the marketing of attractive commercial cards the postal burden worsened. The first Christmas card designed for sale was by London artist John Calcott Horsley.
Printed cards soon became the rage in England; then in Germany. But it required an additional thirty years for Americans to take to the idea. In 1875, Boston lithographer Louis Prang, a native of Germany, began publishing cards, and earned the title “father of the American Christmas card.”
Today more than two billion Christmas cards are exchanged annually, just within the United States. Christmas is the number one card-selling holiday of the year.

One Comment

  1. Erin said:

    I guess I don’t contribute to the card buying becasue I make my own… hope everyone got theirs this year. I know my parents did. We went with a Santa theme. Kev & Beth, I have yours and will bring it home with me… I didn’t have addresses.

    December 22, 2006

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