I guess I am just a softy this time of year. I yearn for, and seek to recreate, that sweet nostalgia, of Christmas’s past. Familiar traditions keep me connected, to those special times. And I find myself wanting to share my traditions, with new generations.
The custom of sending Christmas cards is one such tradition! It was started in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. Sir Henry had the idea of Christmas Cards, with his friend John Horsley, who was an artist. Together they designed the first card and sold them for 1 shilling each. These first card had three panels. The outer two panels showed people caring for the poor. The center panel, depicted a family having a large Christmas dinner! Only about 1000 of these cards were printed and sold. Today, these cards are valued, in the thousands of dollars, and are very difficult to find!
Christmas cards came to the United States in the 1840’s. They were very expensive, and most people couldn’t afford them. Mass production of cards in the United States started in 1875, which brought the price point down, and made them much more affordable for the public. In 1915 three brothers, with the last name of Hall, started a card company, and today, the Hallmark Company, is still one of the largest card companies, in the world.
As a child, I was always thrilled to see those little boxes appear on store shelves. There were so many to choose from, in beautifully illustrated, colorful boxes! There were wise men and a shining star, snow covered cottages with Christmas trees in the window, angels and elves, and shiny red doors with wreathes on them! My favorites were the many varieties of snowmen, fat Santa’s and reindeer. Some looked so real, and some looked like chubby characters, that might speak at any moment. I can even remember the scent of the ink and the paper!
I have a few dear friends, that share similar memories. For those special friends, who enjoy vintage cards and papers, I make a special effort to find vintage cards, to send to them, during Christmas! I enjoy the search, and when I find the perfect card, for each one of these special people, I feel excited to send it! I know they will appreciate, the extra effort and will cherish their new treasure! One of my friends saves, and displays her vintage cards, every year!
So, if you love Vintage cards as much as we do here, at A Vintage Address, then find those special friends and share a little Vintage Sentiment! Oh… And if you want to send us a vintage Christmas card…. we would love to be on your list!