It’s about this time of year that we all think about buying our Christmas cards: special one-off cards for immediate family and more general boxes of cards for the neighbours and work colleagues. We never think to clamber up into the loft and see what’s left from last Christmas, so every year our surplus Christmas card mountain grows and grows!
But where did it all begin?
- The first Christmas card was sent in 1843 by Civil Servant Sir Henry Cole. Together with his friend, artist John Horsely, they designed the card and sold copies of it for 1 shilling each (about 5p in today’s money)
- One of Sir Henry’s first Christmas cards, sent to his Grandmother was recently sold at auction for £22,500
- In the 1910s and 1920s, home-made cards became popular. They were often unusual shapes and had things such as foil and ribbon on them. These were usually too delicate to send through the post and were given by hand
- What’s more, charities estimate that £50m is raised for good causes through the sales of charity Christmas cards each year.
I’ll leave you with a top tip from Princess Tigerlily: rid yourself of the tedium of writing out all the envelopes for your Christmas cards every year by typing them as address labels, storing them on the computer and print them off when required – genius!
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