Friday, November 25, 2011

Vintage Christmas Cards

Christmas cards ~ it's a tradition I hate to see disappear completely, even though it's become much less popular in recent years due to ecards and email. Nothing replaces opening a beautiful card and seeing a handwritten message inside, though. I remember when I was a child and we'd receive dozens of Christmas cards and Mom would tape them up all around the doorways, as decorations.

The first Christmas cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843 and featured an illustration by John Callcott Horsley of a festive family with a small child drinking wine together. The cards were printed in black and white and then colored by hand. Unfortunately, it proved to be  controversial and was condemned as "promoting drunkenness."

 It was almost another twenty years before Christmas cards caught on again, when printer Charles Goodall produced Christmas lithographs for the masses. Early Christmas cards didn't feature religious images, but flowers and holly, robins, children and animals ~ even fairies.

 In 1875 Louis Prang became the first printer to offer cards in America, and by the 1920s, the exchange of Christmas cards was very popular in the United States and around the world. Religious scenes became more popular, such as angels and mangers, then later, came snowmen and Santa Claus.

So, do you still send Christmas cards? Do you receive them? I'd love to hear your special memories or traditions pertaining to Christmas cards.

Until next time,


Patti said...

I still send Christmas cards. Well, actually a Christmas letter along with a Christmas photo. I have noticed, though, that the amount of cards I receive goes down every year. Each year, I think fewer and fewer people send cards, which is really too bad, because cards and photos can be put in beautiful albums, while e-cards and emails just get deleted from the computer.

Blessings to you,

Ms. Burrito said...

So pweety!

Barbie and Ken, please come and see. Have a great weekend.

Lui said...

What an interesting info!

Cottage and Broome said...

I agree nothing beats opening up a card, I save all the cards I receive. I will be sending out holiday cards again this year. Love the vintage cards you posted. If you get a chance stop by and see my vintage cards. Thanks, Laura

❀ⒹⒺⒺ❀@ A Lapin Life said...

The Christmas cards are beautiful! I still send them out every year.


chubskulit said...

Simply beautiful!

Pink Accessories, have a fun Saturday!

Jenny's Heart said...

I do send them, though not as many and I do receive them, but again not as many.
I too hate to see the tradition die.
I will send them every year!
Thank you for sharing the history of them, I had no idea.
Happy Pink Saturday

Riet said...

Hi Cindy. Yes I still do send Christmas cards and e cards as second. I also love receiving them. I love all these cards you show us here.
Happy pink saturday

Kathy said...

Lovely, I had not known the history of Christmas greeting cards - my friend collects vintage cards and has given me a couple. Lovely post,
I hope you have a blessed day,

kitty said...

I love the vintage Christmas cards!! I still send cards & I love receiving them, too.

Terri Morse said...

Thank you for sharing such a wonderful display of vintage Christmas cards! I love Victorian cards. I haven't sent out cards in a few years, but I was considering starting the tradition again. Happy Pink Saturday! Hugs, Terri

The Tablescaper said...

Neat post.

- The Tablescaper

Denise at Forest Manor said...

Hi Cindy,

I so enjoyed this post -- love the images of vintage Christmas cards. Yes, I do still send Christmas cards and I truly love to send them and to receive them. My mom had a piece of green and red stretchy string (like a thin rope) which came with 16 small green and red clothespins. You stretch the cord across a doorframe and hang your cards with the clothespins. She gave it to me, and I love it. I actually hang it across the top of some built-in bookshelves in our den. I, too, think it's sad that the tradition of mailing Christmas cards is falling by the wayside. We will do it as long as we can afford to. :)

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.


Michele said...

what a wonderful post Cindy! i enjoyed reading it. Christmas cards are a wonderful tradition. i send them every year and i try to send as many handmade cards as i can. happy pink saturday and thanks much for stopping by my blog. xo

RobinfromCA said...

I did a post on Vintage Christmas Cards as well! Yes, I still do cards - and I insist on signing each one by hand. It's so much more personal. I am also very careful in my card selection. I include a letter in each card that is short on text and heavy on photos of what we've done over the year but I don't replace the card with the letter. The cards are such works of art!

We receive many cards still but not as many as we used to. The cost of the cards and the postage has made everyone trim their lists including me. But, this means that the cards we send and receive are from the people we truly love and cherish in our lives. I think last year we got about 50 or so cards which is about how many we send now. I can remember sending well over 100 many, many years ago. I hope they never fade away completely. This is my favorite time of the year to go to the mailbox!


Sanghamitra Bhattacherjee(Mukherjee) said...

Those cards are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Hope to see you on my blog:)

Kathryn Ross said...

Hi CIndy! I loved the Christmas cards in my childhood. Mom would string them up around the doorways, too. My sister and I had them strung on the walls of our room after the card exchange at school - parochial school. But, as an adult, I married and moved away - too many on my list to be able to write all the news, so the Christmas newsletter became the fashion. Cards become too expensive. Today, I get about 20 or so cards - always the first one to arrive is from my cousin who I haven't seen for years - his wife gets them in the mail the day after Thanksgiving. Never fails. Good girl, she! I make a vailiant effort - but - alas - there have been more cards started and then tossed mid-January because I just couldn't make the mailing dealine - and getting CHristmas or New Year greetings for Valentine's Day is shaouting failure on my part. Love going through the bins of cards my grandmother kept - every card she ever recieved since the 1920's! I own them now - wonderful!


They're so pretty and what an inetresting esxplanation. Thanks for sharing, I love Christmas time! FABBY

Sares said...

I must say, I love to get Christmas cards in the mail. I was looking to buy some to send out yesterday but couldn't find any I liked. I guess I better just pick some, it's not like I have a lot of time left to choose, fill them out and mail them!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

This was very interesting to read, Cindy. I've always enjoyed sending and receiving Christmas cards. The past few years I have been having photo cards made of my two grandsons, as they live cross country and most of my family and friends do not get a chance to see them.

Happy Pink Saturday!

Photo Cache said...

our mama just finished addressing x'mas cards. she loves to receive and send out cards still.

emma and buster

Au and Target said...

We first learned of this tradition when we moved to the UK but I'm afraid it never really caught on with our family. Still, the cards are pretty!

AshTreeCottage said...

While I love the ease of sending e-cards, nothing can replace the joy of receiving Christmas cards in the physical mail box! Love your vintage cards!!

Susan and Bentley

Red Rose Alley said...

Yes, I love sending out Christmas cards still, and I love receiving them. There's nothing like getting Christmas cards in the mail, is there? What a great idea for a post, and I enjoyed your pictures of the old Christmas cards too. The Santa one is sweet.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley


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