National Christmas Card Day

Did you know that there even was such a thing as National Christmas Card Day? I didn’t. It’s today – December 9th. Here is the scoop from the National Day Calendar website:

Each year around this time, friends and families begin mailing their holiday cards. Christmas Card Day on December 9th serves as a reminder to get your stamps, envelopes, and cards together so you can share your holiday cheer.

Sending a card during the holidays hasn’t always been a tradition. In Victorian England, sending Penny Post was inexpensive and frequent. It was also considered rude to ignore a written message. One particularly popular Victorian invented the holiday card out of necessity. Sir Henry Cole received frequent letters, and it left him little time for other responsibilities. In 1843, he asked his friend J.C. Horsley to illustrate a design he had in mind. Soon, Cole was off to the printer, and he mailed the first Christmas card in the Penny Post to friends, family, and many acquaintances. 

Today, we mail a variety of cards at Christmastime. The tradition of Christmas cards continues in a broader sense. Social and electronic media keep us connected in this modern world more than ever before. However, the Christmas card continues to be a part of our annual tradition, even if it takes on a different style or pattern.

  • Photo cards – Many families take an annual holiday photo specifically for mailing to friends and family. These photos may be snapshots or professional photos. Most families save them from social media, so they remain a surprise when they arrive in the mail, too.
  • Christmas letter – These letters often highlight the events for each family member for the year. Not everyone has social media, so it’s a nice way to catch up with friends and family. The letters usually run a page in length, but some letter writers have a lot more to say.
  • Postcards – These simple cards generally send the same holiday message a regular Christmas card does, but without a fold or an envelope. With a photo on one side and a simple message on the other, they are quick and easy to send, too.
  • Business card – Christmas cards also come from businesses who want to remind us they still want our business. As a marketing tool, businesses know their best customers like to be remembered during the holidays, too.
  • New Year’s cards – The holidays do get busy, and some of us put off sending any holiday cards until New Year. They still want to keep in touch with family and friends, so they send their good wishes in the form of a Happy New Year card. So, don’t mark anyone off your Christmas card list until after the first of the year.

These holiday cards may be the only communication we receive all year long from a friend or family member. Even if we spent an abundance of time with them once, these once-a-year notes touch us with a bit of meaning this time of year. We take the time to connect once again and say, “We’re thinking of you.”

Do you still send/receive Christmas cards?

For me personally, I enjoy receiving Christmas cards. Our first one arrived this week from my friend, Jen. In the past, I used to send cards out every year. Sam and I sent some out a year or so ago, but haven’t done so since. We’re hoping to get a few out this year.

I love when the cards include photos, or the card itself is a photo. Whether the photo is a simple shot of a family, or pictures of the kids in Christmas jammies, or a collage of past events, it always makes me smile to see them.

I may be in the minority here, but I also love to read the “year in review” family letters. To me, I love how personal this is. Sometimes, the family letter is the only way you find out about something. What a wonderful way to get “caught up.”

Our world has kind of lost the importance of real connections. Rarely do we send birthday cards in the mail anymore. Rather, our wishes are limited to “Happy Birthday” via text message or social media. There is something very special about receiving a greeting in the mail. Whoever sent it took the time to pick a card, or write a letter, and chose to send it to YOU. Perhaps, the world would be a better place if we took more time to make someone smile with a card or letter.

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate National Christmas Card Day, buy a few stamps, pick the “right” card, jot a special message inside, and drop it in the mail.

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