Wish You A Merry Christmas And Happy New Year latest 2023

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Card Bored? The Origin of Christmas Cards

The practice of exchanging cards at Christmas was invented by Englishman Sir Henry Cole in 1843. Cole was keen to make his friends aware of the need to help the poor and needy during the holiday season, so he commissioned artist John Calcott Horsely (now credited as the designer and artist of the very first Christmas card) to paint a card showing the food and clothing of the poor.

However, the final design centered around a colorful group of wealthy revelers enjoying a glass of wine and enjoying Christmas food. Along the edges of the map, shown in a single shade of gray, were depictions of the poor.

Despite the card’s good intentions, it was criticized for showing young people sipping wine as it was seen as “promoting the moral corruption of children”. The now widely used slogan read: “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you”. Sir Henry sent these cards to all his friends and relatives that year and in doing so created a custom that has continued to this day. Only 1000 of these cards were printed which were sold for one shilling each (5p) in 1843 and are now highly sought after collectors’ items, one of which sold for £8469 at auction in the UK in 2005.

As the Christmases came and went, new card designs appeared; elaborate cards with silk and satin fringes, cards folded into a fan or cut out in the shape of birds and candles, but strangely these early cards rarely featured winter scenes.

The custom of Christmas cards quickly became popular on the American side of the Atlantic, but for over 30 years Americans had to import their cards from England. Then, in 1875, a German immigrant named Louis Pranf, opened a lithography shop and published the very first American Christmas card. His initial designs had nothing to do with Christmas and featured simple illustrations of generic flowers and birds. However, they were hugely successful and by 1881 Prang was producing over five million Christmas cards.

Christmas cards have since become a universal Christmas custom with millions of exchanges between friends and family every year across the world. Charity Christmas cards are now an important fundraising tool for many charities and the champion of children’s rights – Unicef ​​- is credited with inventing the concept.

Although technology has brought us new forms of communication, such as email and e-cards, the classic Christmas card remains as popular as ever and isn’t expected to go away anytime soon.

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