The custom of sending Christmas cards started in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole and illustrated by his friend John Callcott-Horsley in London. Together they designed the first card and sold them for 1 shilling each. About 1000 pieces were printed and sold. The card had 3 panels; the central showed a picture of a family having a large Christmas dinner while the outer two panels showed scenes of charity with people caring for the poor. At that time the image proved controversial but as we know to this date the tradition caught on.
Created 3 years earlier, the “Penny Post”, the first postal service that was accessible to nearly everyone, was able to offer a Penny stamp due to new railways. Faster than horse and cheaper than carriage, the trains helped to develop the tradition of sending Christmas cards. From 1860 cards became even more popular and were printed in larger numbers. By the early 1900s, the custom of sending Christmas cards had spread over Europe and became very popular in Germany, the country of Christmas! Christmas cards appeared earlier than this in the US in 1840 yet very few people could afford them as they were extremely expensive. In 1875 a German printer, Mr Prang who worked in the UK on the original cards, started the mass production of Christmas cards. Thus with cheaper prices, more people could buy them. The 1st cards rarely featured religious theme or winter, but flowers, plants and children.
Nowadays Christmas cards have all kinds of pictures, ranging from romantic, nostalgic scenes of the past, to winter pictures, Santa Claus, religious, humorous or charity themes.
Why send a Christmas card?
The purpose of a Christmas card is to send greetings to people who matter; friends, relatives, colleagues and customers to convey all kind of feelings related to the Christmas season. Christmas cards are usually exchanged in the weeks before Christmas, allowing you the chance to display them proudly along fireplaces, up door frames or along the banisters on the stairs.
Christmas cards are not only for Christian people though as many in the world exchange cards whatever their religious backgrounds. The idea with these cards is to share Christmas spirit and values, to let people know how valuable they are and help them to feel remembered. People who receive Christmas cards like to display them and show them, because it’s a sharing moment. By sending a Christmas arrangement with a nice Christmas card you make festive season one to be truly remembered.
In recent years we have seen a decrease in number of printed cards sent, due to technology many people prefer to send an e-Christmas card or just write an email or phone. This drop has been notable for a few years but we see that the trend of sending something more personal and unique is slowly coming back. If you ask yourself if you will send a card, just remember that
- Receiving a card is always an appreciated surprise. Don’t you like receiving surprises yourself?
- Receiving cards boosts happiness. Of all the emails received every day, most of them you don’t have the time to read in details. With a real card it’s different. Imagine how happy and proud your grandmother will be to receive a card?
- Take the time for the others. We all have a terrible busy life. Everything is fast, everything needs to be quick. Taking the time to write a nice Christmas card is a sign that you care and keep the loved ones and friends in the loop with something more personal than a tweet or a Facebook post.
- A decoration idea. There are so many different possibilities with Christmas colors, winter scenes, comedic pictures, that people proudly display in their home next to the Christmas tree or together with the Christmas flowers you will add. Why not also create your own card? There are many online possibilities now to create a customized card. Inspiration has no limit!
What do we write?
The very classic and traditional text is “Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year”. With a card you can deliver a magical and delightful Christmas message with loads of hugs! Your message can be very classic and a bit formal or very personal or funny depending on who you send it to. To make it very simple, here are ideas in various languages:
- Chinese Simplified (China, except Hong Kong): 圣誔快乐，新年进步
- Chinese Traditional (Hong Kong & Taiwan): 聖誔快樂，新年進步
- Croatian - Hrvatski: Čestit Božić i sretna Nova godina
- Danish: Glædelig jul og godt nytår! or simplyGod jul
- Dutch: Prettige kerstdagen en een gelukkig nieuwjaar
- Estonian: Häid jõule ja head uut aastat
- Finnish: Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta
- French: Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année
- German: Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein glückliches/gutes Neues Jahr
- Greek: Καλά Χριστούγεννα και ευτυχισμένος ο Καινούριος Χρόνος
- Hungarian: Kellemes karácsonyi ünnepeket és boldog új évet or simply ú. é. k.
- Icelandic: Gleðileg jól og farsælt nýtt ár
- Irish: Nollaig Shona Duit
- Italian: Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo
- Korean: 메리 크리스마스
- Japanese: メリー・クリスマス
- Norwegian: God jul og godt nyttår
- Polish: Wesołych Świąt i Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku
- Portuguese: Feliz Natal e um Feliz Ano Novo
- Russian: С Новым Годом и Рождеством
- Slovak: Veselé Vianoce a Štastný Nový rok
- Spanish: Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo
- Swedish: God Jul och Gott Nytt År
- Ukrainian: Веселих свят! З Новим роком і Різдвом!
Christmas 2014 is nearly upon us, and greeting cards and flowers are the perfect combination to make someone very happy and remembered at Christmas. Thanks to our local florists, we can deliver your Christmas feeling all over the country, all over the world.