We need bridges as the river of time flows past. Today's Christmas should mean creating happy hours for tomorrow and reliving those of yesterday.” ~Gladys Taber
But, I do regret the demise of real mail. Yes, it is nice to have instant communication, but somehow emails, Facebook, Instagram, etc etc etc do not have the same feel for me.
The first Christmas cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callcott Horsley in London on the 1st of May 1843. The central picture showed three generations of a family raising a toast to the card's recipient: on either side were scenes of charity, with food and clothing being given to the poor. Allegedly the image of the family drinking wine together proved controversial, but the idea was shrewd: Cole had helped introduce the Penny Post three years earlier. Two batches totaling 2,050 cards were printed and sold that year for a shilling each.
Early English cards rarely showed winter or religious themes, instead favoring flowers, fairies and other fanciful designs that reminded the recipient of the approach of spring. At Christmas 1873, the lithograph firm Prang and Mayer began creating greeting cards for the popular market in England. The firm began selling the Christmas card in America in 1874, thus becoming the first printer to offer cards in America. Its owner, Louis Prang, is sometimes called the "father of the American Christmas card." The popularity of his cards led to cheap imitations that eventually drove him from the market.
It never ceases to amaze me that time passes, but things really do not change all that much!
"Official" Christmas cards began with Queen Victoria in the 1840s. The British royal family's cards are generally portraits reflecting significant personal events of the year. Bet you know who will be on this year's card! In 1953, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first official White House card. Presidents did send cards, but now there is an official White House card.
I received my first card in today's mail even as I typed this, and, I just smiled.
What a wonderful thing is the mail, capable of conveying across continents a warm human hand-clasp. ~Author Unknown