Holiday Card Inspiration
It’s the time of year where our mailboxes are filled with the festive cheer of season’s greetings from friends and family, old and new. We’re honoring this treasured tradition by looking at the story and origin of these correspondences, and fun ideas to make your own! For anyone in need of inspiration for holiday cards this year, read on.
Christmas cards began in Victorian England as a way to keep in touch with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. The earliest cards showed simple drawings of people in festive scenes. Within a few decades, cards like these were incorporated into other holiday traditions. They made their way to the United States in the late 1800s, with the first cards showing pictures of nature. Designs quickly evolved, however, and cards became something akin to collectible art pieces—something beautiful to display, and certainly something to share with your friends. The written messages on these cards were brief.
The commercial production of Christmas cards began in 1915 when a postcard company began printing holiday cards in a new format, 4 inches by 6 inches, so people could share holiday greetings. This format allowed for messages longer than a postcard, but shorter than a letter. In 1962, the US Post Office began printing Christmas themed stamps, and more than a billion were sold. Today, the number has grown closer to 2 billion cards sent each year.
So, if you’re sending a card this year, what will you write? No matter what length or level of detail, you take part in a beautiful time-honored tradition. At their heart, holiday cards communicate a connection to others and a festive spirit. There are no rules, of course, but we do have a few favorite features. A brief holiday message communicates the festive sentiments that make this time of year special. A photo of family, candid or professional, personalizes the card. Including details about your family, your year, and anything else connects you to every person who receives the card. Have you passed any life milestones this year, traveled somewhere beautiful, or enjoyed any particularly notable bottles of wine? These are things worth sharing. If you’re so inclined, you can put together your own cards, scrapbook-style, or use any of a number of custom printing services online.
As you send cards over the years, we also recommend keeping one for yourself each year, watching your family grow and change as the years go by. This season of celebration can also be one of reflection, thankfulness, and joy!
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