Christmas Cards Guide

Christmas Cards Section


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Christmas Cards Article

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Christmas Card Verses Throughout History


John Callcott Horsley created the first Christmas card that was finally issued in 1843. He was a British illustrator commissioned by the Director of the Victoria Albert Museum, Sir Henry Cole, to create the first commercialized Christmas cards. The Christmas card verses included in this Christmas card were: “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.”

Many companies today offer the ability to pick your own verse. For traditionalists, the “Merry Christmas” verse is essential. For others who are less traditional, they may want to put “Season’s Greetings” on their cards. Still others may want verses taken directly from the Bible in their greeting cards. The choice of what type of Christmas card verses to use and who to send it to is very personal.

In the past people have used pieces of Christmas poems or works of Christmas literature for Christmas card verses. Others have looked to the Bible for their source of inspiration. Song verses of traditional Christmas carols also appear on different Christmas cards. Verses can be rhymed or less rigid in literary style.

There are many people who celebrate the Christmas season but are not of the Christian faith. Some of these people are celebrating Kwanzaa or the festival of light, Hanukkah, both which fall around the month of December. Verses can be customized for these cultures to spread the Christmas spirit and the joy of unity we all feel around this time.

It appears as this diversity influences American cultures the Christmas card verses have become less Christian-based, sometimes with people offering a simple “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.” This has produced some controversy, in particular in Christian circles over the proper use of what they perceive to be one of their holiest of holidays. Verses shortening the word “Christmas” to “Xmas” were a source of contention recently as it was seen to be further omitting the name of Christ from the holiday.

Whatever the issue, Christmas is a holiday that is beloved around the world, not just by Christians but also by many others. It’s likely we will see more variations of Christmas card verses and greetings that are entirely not religious. The media has produced wonderful Christmas works that sometimes show up in Christmas verses using modern-day characters like Rudolph and Santa Claus.

The spirit of Christmas is one of unity and joy and whether one chooses to use the popular “Merry Christmas” or a simple “Happy Holidays” is an individual choice. Even these sayings may end up being modified as the world continues to change and adapt its customs to include more people in a spirit of family.