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A Christmas Card

December 21, 2021

The Christmas Card is one of the many Victorian innovations that helped create the holiday that we know today. In the Victorian Era, comforts that had once been reserved for elites came within reach of practically everyone—including mailing letters, which could be done for just a penny. Then practically anyone could send a Christmas letter to keep in touch with distant friends and relatives. The first commercial Christmas Card was produced in London, England in 1843. Pre-printed greetings quickly became common because they were so much more colourful and convenient than writing out Christmas greetings by hand. On the other hand, the personalized letters conveyed so much more.

By the end of the century, practically everyone was exchanging Christmas Greetings. Early Christmas Cards were typically just a flat card, often printed on one side only. Many were ornately decorated, and just as today, they included a great variety of images. They were not necessarily inscribed before they were exchanged.  

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