Christmas is the perfect time of year to reconnect with friends and family at home and abroad. The practise of sending messages of good will to each other has been made since Pagan times. German records show that people sent New Year cards in the fourteenth century, which later developed into a tradition of sending New Year gifts of a printed scene for the home complete with an inscription. In the United Kingdom eighteenth century children would design “Christmas Pieces” for their families, which were specially written messages on engraved paper, it is believed these messages eventually led on to the cards we know today. The origins of the first commercially available Christmas cards can be traced to Sir Henry Cole in December 1843; it simply bore the message `A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to You`.
Cards are usually sent in the weeks running up to Christmas and may carry a range of images. Some bear overtly religious scenes and messages relating to the nativity scene or even relevant Bible passages. Other cards may have a less religious feel but still convey thoughts of goodwill. Many have scenes of traditional Christmas festivities and customs such as feasting, giving gifts, carolling or enjoying winter weather. Father Christmas and his minions provide great fodder for more humorous cards and are frequently featured.
Cards for close family members and for friends can be easily customised using the Hallmark site. Imagine Grannies delight at receiving a card designed especially for her. Dads, Mums, Granddads, Sisters, Brothers, Aunts, Uncles, Nieces and Nephews can all receive the same joy when opening their cards. Friends need not miss out either, as using templates makes it possible to provide a unique design for every recipient. If the templates do not quite suit then it is possible to use your own photographs. Businesses too can use the template system to customise a range of cards to be sent. Charity cards are also available.
Involve everyone in the family when it comes to sending the cards. Addressing envelopes and sticking on stamps can seem more fun if you are all together. It is also a chance to talk to younger members of the family about who you are sending cards to and why it is important to keep touch! Don`t forget to add a little a personal touch when contacting friends, even a hand written signature will go a long way. If you are posting abroad, then check early to make sure you don`t miss posting dates.
And finally make sure you allow plenty of time to choose your perfect Christmas cards. Due to the increasingly busy lives people live, the tradition of exchanging cards is, perhaps, more important than ever as it allows you to connect with friends and family and let them know that you are thinking of them. Of course if you do leave it a little late or get caught out by a card you weren`t expecting, you could also send a New Year card instead.