When Christmas cards start to arrive in post office boxes and mailboxes at homes, I receive one during the first week in December from a dear friend, Claire. Claire’s cards carry messages of love in a vintage way because her cards are not only special but unique. The cards remind me of cards my grandmother might have received.
This year’s card carries an especially important message, “Peace on Earth”. Featured under the inscription is a popup nativity scene. After the Christmas season passes, this card will be saved with others I have received since 2011. However, Claire has been sending her special cards to others before I began receiving one. Reminisce publication calls these cards “timeless keepsakes”.
Here is a short description from the book “Vintage Forever” by Reminisce: “By the 1940s, it was common to decorate with Christmas cards. Eager to create greetings suitable for display, printers used special techniques and finishes such as cutouts, die cuts, embossing, foil stamps, deckled edges, metallic ink and glitter. Some featured ties for hanging the card on the tree.”
The history of Christmas cards is interesting. Reminisce notes that the first cards were printed in 1843 in England. We must thank Henry Cole for beginning the tradition of a general message because, as Christmas approached that year, he was too busy to write individual greetings. A friend, the artist John Callcott Horsley, designed a card wishing “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You”. Collectors wishing to have an original Cole’s card would be lucky. One sold for more than $28,000 in 2001, according to the Reminisce publication. Wouldn’t Henry Cole agree with those who do not have the time to send cards, but do send Christmas wishes via social media?
Putting the value on collectables is difficult at best. My collection of holiday cards from Claire for Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter are a loving expression of how she lives her life, loving others.