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A History of the Christmas Card

Christmas Cards are always nice to send during the festive season (and even nicer to receive!) – it is a fantastic tradition that spreads warm sentiments and well wishes to almost… View More

Christmas Cards are always nice to send during the festive season (and even nicer to receive!) – it is a fantastic tradition that spreads warm sentiments and well wishes to almost every corner of the globe. The traditional greeting reads “Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”, but nowadays there are all sorts of variations, with many cards expressing more a religious sentiment, or containing a poem, prayer or some other seasonal message.

But just when did this time-honoured tradition start?

Well, according to the National Archives of Scotland (NAS) – the first recorded Christmas card was sent by Michael Maier to James I of England and his son Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, way back in 1611!*

From then there is not much evidence of any being sent until the 1840’s, when, in 1843 Sir Henry Cole commissioned Christmas Cards illustrated by John Callcott Horsley in London. This represents the first commercialisation of the Christmas Card giving practise, with two batches totalling 2,050 cards being printed and sold that year for a shilling each.**

The production of Christmas cards was, throughout the 20th century, a profitable business for many stationery manufacturers, with the design of cards continually evolving with changing tastes and printing techniques.

Today, there are near limitless options available with countless different print techniques.

At Dezynamite, we have taken this one step further, and offer completely customized Christmas Cards to our clients – featuring custom imagery & messages on the front with a personalised message and company logo or branding on the inside. I am sure, if Michael Maier or James I of England could see them now – they would be impressed!

Below are some samples of previous Christmas Cards sent by the Team @ Dezynamite

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*Source – https://webarchive.nrscotland.gov.uk/
** Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_card

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