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The Story of Christmas Cards

Thanks to new technologies, today it is possible to send e-cards, because there is a great variety of them on the internet - one more original than the other. But no technique is a substitute for the real Christmas cards.

The first series of Christmas cards were created by an English artist John Horsley Kelkott in 1840. His friend Henry Cole asked John to do so. On the cardboard with the size of 5x3 inches, according to the author, should be depicted Christmas dinner, where three generations of one family are enjoying time together.

The card had a great success. Cole’s relatives proudly showed it to others. Those envious said the card were too frivolous: the artist was accused for presenting the family with glasses in their hands raising a toast for Christmas. But despite this, interest in the card continued. Even after three years, it was still shown to everyone. This led Cole to the idea that if such kind of cards are sold to everyone, who wants, it can become a good source of income.

Thousand copies were printed from the original and from each card Cole got a shilling - it was a lot of money! But the Cole family was sure that the public interest in Christmas cards was no more than a momentary fashion, not a business. However, they were mistaken. Since 1860s the production of greeting cards was put on stream.

The custom of sending to relatives and friends short greetings on the occasion quickly gained popularity in many countries. In Norway, the first Christmas cards were printed in 1883, and since the beginning of the twentieth century, writing greeting cards has become a tradition in Norway.


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