Birth of the Christmas Greeting Card

It’s the mid-1800s in the United Kingdom, and Sir Henry Cole had a remarkable idea to share “Good Tidings” among his friends. His friend, John Horsley, was the artist who designed that very first Christmas greeting card for him. He designed approximately one thousand cards to be given to special friends and family. The very first creation by him was not liked by many because it showed a child being given a glass of wine. But the idea progressed despite an even bigger problem – how he would get them to all his recipients?

Birth of the Christmas Greeting Card Pic 1

Though delivering a package was costly, and the poor could never afford such an expense, Sir Henry created a “Penny Post” in town for folks to drop off their cards, thus, the creation of the post office. So, for about a Penny stamp, “Robin Postmen” (in tribute to the bird) distributed their mail for the holidays, even on Christmas day. As this tradition spread in 1860, Christmas cards were mass produced, and the postage dropped to a half-penny.

Birth of the Christmas Greeting Card Pic 2
Photo courtesy of United States Catalogue

The original cards were colorful with pictures of children caroling or nativity scenes. Some cards were decorated with snow scenes and red robin birds. This tradition expanded to America in 1849 as adopted by Louis Prang. He was a German immigrant that grew up in the printing business. He started the fad of Christmas cards in the United States.

Birth of the Christmas Greeting Card Pic 3
Louis Strang, courtesy of New York Historical Society
Birth of the Christmas Greeting Card Pic 4
This is first known ‘personalized’ Christmas Card sent in 1891 by the famous sharpshooter, Annie Oakley.
Birth of the Christmas Greeting Card Pic 5
First known Victorian Christmas card

In 1915, a poor, high school dropout named Joyce C. Hall gathered postcards and sold them to drugstores, bookstores and gift shops in Kansas City, Missouri. He soon realized what a lucrative business Christmas postcards was, so he purchased an engraving firm and mass produced the greeting cards in our country. This man was the founding father of the infamous company we’ve learned to count on for the holiday season – the original creator of Hallmark cards!

Birth of the Christmas Greeting Card Pic 6

I find it very interesting that the Christmas card industry gave birth to the post office. Who would have thought, much less in the UK?

Enjoy the song “An Old Christmas Card” by Jim Reeves:

I hope as we pray for peace and joy this holiday season, let God fill your heart with good tidings and cheer! Today, it doesn’t cost a cent to share those feelings with others. Have a wonderful love-filled Christmas!

Please be sure to join us Sunday for another, Everything Christmas Blog!


Christmas ad for book FB

Written by Dana Bicks LLC, Author

Dana S. Bicks, a Severna Park, Maryland native, was born a left-handed dyslexic, and falsely labeled "retarded" as a young child. He struggled throughout his life with the disability when at the age of sixty, a miracle occurred. God, in His infinite grace and wisdom, awoke Dana and demanded him to be a writer of His messages to the world. Shortly after finding humor in God's suggestion, Dana picked up a pen. He began writing, right-handed nonetheless, Christian struggles of life, and prayers ascribed to him by the Lord. In June 2017, Dana and his wife created this inspirational blog which currently maintains 19.6 million readers in twenty-nine countries across the world. It has won numerous awards including a Top 30 Inspirational Blog Website To Follow in 2018 as awarded by Feedspot.com in May 2018. His blog is followed by numerous celebrities, ministries, authors, and people in all walks of life. Only God's hand could allow an unexperienced writer to grow a fellowship of such success in less than a year! Dana Bicks shares these stories in his beautiful books, blogs, and social media platforms. His new inspirational book series, "There In God's Grace", will be released September 27, 2018. Dana’s creative, talented writing can only be heaven sent!

Leave a Reply