In 1843 at UK, Sir Henry Cole started the custom of sending Christmas cards. He was working at civil servant office and was very much interested in the public post office. The idea of sending Christmas cards came to his mind with the help of his artist friend John Horsley. They then designed a card which had three panels and sold it off in 1 shilling. The outer most panels consist of image which displayed how people cares for poor whereas the centre panel has a family having Christmas dinner.
In 1840, the first postal service was started which can be used by ordinary people. Initially only rich people was able to afford to send cards. The penny stamps were also offered by new Post Office as new railways were built up. Trains was able to move a lot faster that the post by horse. As soon the prices reduced to half the penny, these happy christmas cards became popular in UK. These card were posted in an unsealed envelope.
With the improvement in the printing methods, the Christmas cards became more popular. They were produced in large number. Later the cost of sending this post cards reduced to half and then was affordable by all the people.The artist William elegy who imprinted card which had some examples of the books of Charles Dickens, is still been displayed in the British museum. Later this ritual spread all over the Europe and then became popular in Germany.
The first card included some nativity scene of birth of Jesus. Later snow scenes and robins became popular.
In late 1840s these cards discovered in United States of America. They were very expensive and normal people could not afford it. The first card of Mr Prang consists of plants, children and flowers. Later John C. Hall with his two brothers created hallmark cards in 1915 and it is still one of the biggest selling card makers.
Homemade cards became very popular in 1910s and 1920s. it also included some odd shapes, foils and ribbons on it. These cards were usually very fragile to handle and also to send it by post. These days’ cards consist of lot of pictures which includes various winter pictures, jokes, Santa Clause images and romantic scenes of the past days. Many of the charities sell their own Christmas cards as away to earn money at Christmas.
Lot of money is made by charities from stickers which were used to seal the card envelopes. This method was started by a postal worker who thought that this will help to raise money as a good way for charities in Denmark at early 1900. It was considered to be huge success as over four million cards were sold at first year. Later Norway and Sweden also adopted the same technique and later it was spread over Europe to America. Now a day, various varieties of cards are available in the market. People can now send greeting to their loved ones.