Christmas cards bring joy and love from family and friends far and near. In a world where snail mail continues to be used less and less, there is nothing better than receiving surprise happy mail – a note, a gift, or a card. More than 1.3 billion holiday cards are sent in the United States each year, according to Hallmark. Do you still mail Christmas cards?
The average person sends between 50 and 100 cards, according to Minted, a company where you can make custom photo cards featuring unique artwork. That seems like a lot of cards to mail out, but if you include family, friends, and business contacts – you just might find yourself sending yuletide greetings to that many people, too.
The History of Christmas Cards
Hallmark made its first Christmas cards in 1915, five years after the company began. However, Hallmark did not invent Christmas cards as many people believe. Englishman Henry Cole hired a London artist, John Calcott Horsley to design a card to send to his friend in 1842 when he found himself too busy to write a personal note to his friends and family.
Regarding Christmas cards in America, Louis Prang, a German immigrant, is credited with the idea. He printed a card in 1875 featuring Killarney roses and the words, “Merry Christmas.” Today, Hallmark offers more than 2,000 Christmas card designs, including more than 325 boxed designs.
Photo Christmas Cards
So many Moms find themselves too busy these days to send Christmas cards. However, creating fun or funny holiday photo cards can become a part of your holiday traditions. If it becomes a fun event, then creating and mailing cards to friends and family is no longer stressful. Pick a day. Plan and coordinate the outfits. Matching Christmas PJs or “ugly” Christmas sweaters can make for adorable Christmas cards. Hire a creative, family-friendly photographer. Have fun! After the photo shoot, enjoy hot cocoa and cookies or dinner at your favorite restaurant while wearing your matching holiday pajamas or ugly Christmas sweaters. Make it an annual tradition.
Your photos for your Christmas cards can be traditional poses or research fun holiday poses like the human Christmas tree or human snowflake. You can sit by your Christmas tree, visit a Christmas tree farm, or make cookies in your kitchen. Whatever you decide to do for your photographs, the goal is to have fun. Christmas is a season. You can even use your photo from visiting Santa as your Christmas card. (The older the kids get, the more fun it is to drag the whole family to see Santa for a fun photo).
Companies like Canva, Mixbook Photo Co. and Shutterfly, let you upload your professional portraits, family vacation photos, or a quick snapshot to create your own personalized Christmas cards. With a quick Internet search, you will discover numerous suggestions for creating funny family Christmas cards to duplicate or be inspired to create your own unique Christmas cards. Sometimes you use a classic photo and the choice of words makes the card hilarious. And, sometimes, it’s all about the outfit, you might bust out those coordinating family Halloween costumes and add a Santa hat and pose by your Christmas tree.
Don’t forget your pets in your photos for your Christmas cards. Dress your dog or lizard up in a Santa hat. Pose your dog next to a plate of dog treats with a note that says, “Dear Santa Paws.” Be silly, and have fun.
Pop-Up and Musical Christmas Cards
Pop-up cards are very trendy. FreshCut Paper makes adorable pop-up Christmas trees, wreaths, and bouquets. A small coordinating traditional card accompanies the cool pop-up artwork so you can write a personal note.
LovePop offers pop-up ornaments, wreaths and cards, too. LovePop offers a variety of religious pop-up designs like the Stained Glass Nativity Windows Giant Pop-Up and the Nativity Christmas Tree Pop-Up. Pop-Up cards make a fun surprise in the mail.
Musical Christmas cards sing a little jingle bringing joy with each note when the recipient opens the card. Numerous musical cards can be found on Amazon. Many are both musical and a pop-up card for double the “wow factor.”
Homemade Christmas Cards
If your family really is into arts and crafts, you can make homemade Christmas cards for each and every one of your family and friends. This is an awesome tradition to start when the kids are young. Then it becomes part of your holiday memories making cards for family and friends. When the whole family works on the Christmas cards, it does not become a chore for Mom.
The Annual Christmas letter
Before social media, busy Mama’s used to send an annual letter inside traditional Christmas cards. The letter included well wishes for the new year, as well as an update on how the family was doing. The letter often listed accomplishments of the children and family vacation adventures – everything people now post on social media! Perhaps, this is why some people no longer send Christmas cards because it is so much easier to instantly feel connected to faraway friends and family with weekly and daily posts.
However, sending Christmas cards to grandparents and aunts and uncles, as well as family friends with printed photos of the children and short notes is still so special for the recipients. Many family members enjoy framing photos for display around their homes. Christmas cards are a gift for the recipient – a smile and a hug wrapped in an envelope in the mailbox.
Christmas card day is December 9th – which serves as your reminder to get stamps for your cards and pop them in the mail so your friends and family will receive them before Christmas. Christmas cards are a way to send greetings and a way to keep in touch. Some friends and family drift away throughout the years, but the memories are re-kindled through a Christmas card friendship each year.
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