Let’s hope everyone has a happy and peaceful Christmas! This post is a bit late. We have been very busy, up in Birmingham the last few days, seeing family and friends.
I have just finished sticking our Christmas cards up in the hall. Battleaxe does enjoy getting them, particularly from people we don’t often see. It is a link, however tenuous. I am not so keen on writing them – I do around 60. It is fine when you can just sign the things, but different when you feel the need to put news as well. I try and tailor the news to the recipient, and it takes ages.
I read that the incidence of traditional posted cards is declining with the growth of social media, e-cards and, of course, high postage costs. This is leading to massive loss of revenue for charities. Why can’t the Royal Mail have a reduced rate for Christmas cards? Am I dreaming it or did there used to be a cheaper rate for cards that were unsealed?
However, hand-made, hand-crafted cards are becoming increasingly popular. See my friend Jacky’s blog, ScrappyJacky.
Christmas cards have been going since 1843. Here is the first one, commissioned by Sir Henry Cole. It cost a shilling – a great deal of money in those days.
Cole was a remarkable man – one of those energetic, eminent Victorians who did anything and everything. He was an artist and a writer as well as a senior civil servant. He worked on the introduction of the penny post. He organised the Great Exhibition of 1851, and used the profits of that to found the Victoria and Albert Museum, and set in train the development of the other South Kensington Museums, including raising the funds to build the Royal Albert Hall. He worked to promote employment opportunities for women. He even lived in Birmingham for a while, pursuing an unsuccessful scheme to turn sewage into concrete.
Anyway, I’m planning a post on suffragettes in Hastings early in 2015. Here is a rather disagreeable anti-suffragette christmas card from around 1910.
2014 marked the 100 year anniversary of the start of World War I. By Christmas 1914, organised trench warfare was still in its infancy, and nobody would have had any idea of the scale of the slaughter to follow in succeeding years. Here is a typical Christmas card sent by the troops in that period, and an example of the many hand-made embroidered cards, made by locals in France and Belgium, for the troops to buy and send home.
While I was looking at Google to find the cards above, I found this one. I know most of us women would like a Gay Best Friend, but I’ve a feeling this particular Christmas wish would lead nowhere.
Modern cards come in a dizzying variety of designs. Call me boring, but I don’t like the ones that tell you to have a ‘Merry f****** Christmas’ etc. These two aren’t quite as rude as that, but I like them…..
Finally, this isn’t even a card, it is an advertisement……