Friday, December 02, 2005

Christmas Cards - A Wonderful Tradition!

Christmas Cards are such a wonderful tradition. They allow you to wish your friends and family a happy holiday season. They also provide a way to catch up on what is happening with everyone.

Sadly, however, Christmas Cards are becoming a long lost tradition. People just don't want or have the time anymore to send you a card.

I love Christmas Cards, especially if they contain a handwritten note or handwritten letter. The handwritten note signifies that the person actually stopped to write something to you. In this fast paced, no time for anything world that is important. Some Christmas Cards contain computerized notes informing everyone of what is happening with them and their families. In a computerized world this was bound to happen. This is fine as well.

Why do I love sending and receiving Christmas Cards? Because I love catching up with what is going on whether it's a handwritten note or a computerized letter. I cherish all the Christmas Cards that I have ever received with handwritten notes or computerized letters. For some of my friends this is the only correspondence that we have every year and provides a way for both of us to stay in touch. In fact, I have never thrown a Christmas Card with a handwritten note or computerized letter away. All of them are in my memory books (albeit I'm on Volume #32 now, but...). For someone like me who is getting older my memory books provide a means of looking back and remembering. The Christmas Cards provide the timeframe.

I know my family would be astonished by this, too. I have kept every single Birthday card, Valentine's Day card, Anniversary card, Christmas card, etc. that I have ever received from anyone since I was about 7 years old. It's so nice to be able to go back and look at the cards I received and what was said by my beautiful Step-Daughter, Grandmothers, Grandfather, Old Family Friends, and my Father, all of whom are no longer with us. Re-reading them always brings back such warm and cherished memories for me. I know, call me an old softy. I admit it.

Okay, Linda, let's get back on track. Since, we're coming into the Christmas Card giving season I thought it would be a nice idea to take a look at this Christmas tradition for my Linda Walsh Originals - Linda's Blog. So, where did the tradition of giving Christmas Cards begin?

Well (surprise, surprise), it began in Victorian England in 1843, the same year that Charles Dickens wrote "A Christmas Carol." John C. Horsley is actually credited with this, but it was actually at the suggestion of his friend, Sir Henry Cole, that the first Christmas Card was created and published.

It seems that Sir Henry Cole was caught in the mad holiday rush (sound familiar) and was unable to send the traditional written Christmas message to his friends and associates. Instead he sent them an illustrated holiday greeting. The card was divided into three panels and was designed by his friend John C. Horsley. The main illustration showed the three elders at a party raising wine glasses in a toast the side panels showed two Yuletide traditions - feeding the hungry and clothing the needy. The message inside 150 years later is still the most popular greeting of all: "A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you." Henry Cole's cards caused quite a stir. Back then you could send letters for just a penny each (can you imagine 1 penny!)

In the 1860's greeting card companies began appearing all over England. In 1846 Christmas Cards started in America, but didn't really take off until 1920 when advances in printing technology added to the popularity of Christmas Cards. That's also when the color red started being associated with Christmas.

Christmas Cards started due to a mad rush and sadly, their decline may be due to a lack of time during the mad rush of the holiday season. I sincerely hope not. It is such a wonderful and lovely tradition. Sending warm holiday greetings is such a beautiful way to say "A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year To You!"

Linda Walsh Originals would like to wish everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy, Healthy, and Safe New Year.

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