I love writing them and receiving them, especially when they have been showered in personal love and delight.
Sending letters was not a thing ordinary people could afford up until 1840.
It was the whole horse and carriage situation, which made sending letters a rather long and expensive affair. With the introduction of the railway however, those days were soon over and the “Penny Post”, or in more modern terms “Public Postal Service” ,was born. Now a larger amount of post could be sent across the country in less time, the cost of sending letters dropped and sending postcards was only half a penny.
Now, how do you encourage people to make use of that new service?
It all began in 1843, when Sir Henry Cole (a senior civil Servant at the time) and his artist friend John Horsley had the idea of the Christmas card.
They designed the very first card, which showed a family around a big table, enjoying their glass of wine. In the centre of the card it said “A merry Christmas and a Happy new year to you” and showed people caring for the poor on the outer panels.
When the cards were released, about 1000 copies were sold, for something like 5p. ( This is nothing compared to the gob smacking price it was sold for in 2001 £22.500)
The Christmas Cards craze had caught on , and designs like the Nativity scene, Robins and Snow scenes gained popularity (Especially in late Victorian times).
Europe went crazy over this new found custom – especially Bella Germania.
It also reached the United States of America, where it stayed quite expensive until Louis Prang (originally from Germany) started mass producing cards around 1874/1875.
Today billions of people send Christmas cards to one another- and believe me when I tell you: the Brits are especially nuts about them . It is part of the culture and I love it.
They do have the most beautiful selection of cards and are prepared for every situation you could think of.
Even if it’s your dog’s cousins-ex boyfriend-almost- lover’s 17th birthday… in England, you will find a card.
Are you sending Christmas cards this year?
Have you found any hilarious once yet?
Please share the laughter with us!Woop Woop