Thursday, 15 December 2011

Christmas 1- Cards

Ok its that much anticipated time of the year , just in case you had not noticed it's Christmas.

Now I don't know about you but I love it every part yes even prepping the veg on Christmas eve.

For me a card conveys what Christmas is to me and for met it is just simply a :

A card with a dove on. I can't remember when I decided to just send dove cards.
But to me that is what I wish for everyone and that is PEACE.

Many cards are full of wonderful words related to the Christmas story
Others are baised on Father Christmas .
I love the variety I recieve.

Displaying the cards

Every year I arrange the cards differently

Having said that for the last few years I have used this mirror to display family cards ( and other precious items through the year)

So far I have a card from Liz and James and Chris & Gemma . The red cross stitched card was from Chris& Gemma last year so will come out each year.
The Cherish  sign was from last year and sums up this special place in my home. The dove was from friends many years ago.
The white flowers were from my corsage at Chris and Gemma's wedding. The red roses from my Fathers funeral and the white lace cross, I got years ago but sadly can not remember where from .

Next I have a plain piece of card that goes close to the ceiling for all the landscape cards .

This year I am displaying the portrait cards on the stairs along with the chocolate countdown.

History of Cards

Christmas history at a glance  is a great site that has lots of information about why we do what we do.

The History of the Christmas Card

So how did it all begin?

A relatively recent phenomenon, the sending of commercially printed Christmas cards originated in London in 1843.

Previously, people had exchanged handwritten festive greetings. First in person, then via post.

John Calcott Horsley, a respected illustrator of the day, was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, a wealthy British businessman. Cole wanted a card he could proudly send to friends and professional acquaintances to wish them a "merry Christmas".

The Cole Horsley Card

Sir Henry Cole was a prominent innovator in the 1800's. He modernised the British postal system, managed construction of the Albert Hall, arranged for the Great Exhibition in 1851, and oversaw the inauguration of the Victoria and Albert museum. Most of all, Cole sought to "beautify life", and in his spare time he ran an art shop on Bond Street, specialising in decorative objects for the home. In the summer of 1843 he commissioned Horsley to design an impressive card for that year's Christmas.

Horsley produced a triptych. Each of the two side panels depicted a good deed - clothing the naked and feeding the hungry. The centrepiece featured a party of adults and children, with plentiful food and drink (there was severe criticism from the British Temperance Movement). So the design proved controversial but the idea was shrewd as Cole had helped to introduce the Penny Post three years earlier.

This first Christmas card's inscription read: "merry Christmas and a happy new year to you". Merry was then a spiritual word meaning "blessed" as in "merry old England".

Of the original one thousand cards produced for Henry Cole, twelve exist today in private collections; in December 2005, one of these designs was auctioned for nearly £9000.

Neither man had any idea of the impact it would have on Britain and later in America. Even the early Christmas card manufacturers believed Christmas cards to be a vogue that would soon pass.

However, the Christmas card was destined to become an integral part of the season. By 1880 their manufacture was big business, creating previously unknown opportunities for artists, writers, printers and engravers.
Early British cards rarely showed winter or religious themes, instead favouring flowers, fairies and other fanciful designs that reminded the recipient of the approach of spring. Humorous and sentimental images of children and animals were popular, as were increasingly elaborate shapes, decorations and materials.

Cards continued to evolve throughout the 20th century with changing tastes and printing techniques. The World Wars brought cards with patriotic themes. Idiosyncratic "studio cards" with cartoon illustrations and sometimes risque humour caught on in the 1950's. Nostalgic, sentimental and religious images are once again popular, and reproductions of Victorian and Edwardian cards were easy to obtain.
From the beginning, Christmas cards have been avidly collected. Queen Mary amassed a large collection that is now housed in The British Museum.

This information is courtesy of

For me I read every card , nowadays people are sending e cards which are lovely as well and I love to receive those my favourite site is Jacquie lawson her cards are whimsical and full of character. There is an annual joining fee I was very fortunate to receive a gift for my birthday this year.

Next there are the personalised cards  and for this I use  Funky Pigeon again you pay for the individual card  for a neighbour this year I photographed my Nativity scene that they made a stable for I hope they like it .

My next choice would be to buy Charity cards as hopefully a small portion of what I pay will help a good cause.


As I await the arrival of my first grandchild I look forward to years of handmade cards .

Must go now as the postman has been


Jenny said...

Christmas cards are one of my favorite parts of the holiday...

I always display them differently each year too...

My best wishes for a blessed and beautiful holiday for you and yours...

Birgit said...

Hi Tracy,

First of all, thanks so much for leaving a comment on my blog. That certainly makes blogging extra special! :)

I enjoyed seeing how you display your Christmas cards. I have a wall picture holder -- and there are still my Christmas cards on it. :)

Have a wonderful 2012,
your blog friend from Munich, Germany,