The Anatomy of a Christmas Card
- 45% of all cards sent are Christmas cards. That's more than any other type of greeting card!
- The world's smallest Christmas card would fit into a UK 1st class stamp 8.000 times.
- Each year in finland Santa receives 600.000 cards. At 10 seconds a card it would take one person working non-stop from Christmas Day until mid March to open them and an 80 km long mantelpiece to display them all.
- Just 72% of 8-24 year olds intend to send Christmas cards compared to 91% of over 55s.
- Only 15% of cards are bought by men.
The evolution of a Christmas Card
- In Pagan Britain good luck charms are given during Winter Solstice.
- 1500s. Block printing allows sending of New Years Cards in Germany.
- 1600s. Religious families in Germany send New year cards depicting Jesus.
- 1700s. English school children write messages to their families on bordered paper
- 1800s, 1820s. Colour is added to engraved borders.
- 1840s. Colour is added to engraved borders. Official Christmas Card tradition initiated by Queen Victoria.
- 1843s. First commercial Christmas Cards commissioned by Sir Henry Cole.
- 1870s. One Penny Post allows practically anyone to send a Christmas Card.
- 1875s. Louis Prang brings Christmas Cord production to America.
- 1881. Louis Prang is printing more than 5 million Christmas Cards a year.
- 1900s. The Royal Mail deals with 11 million cards during the festive season.
- 1915. John C. Hall and two of his brothers create Hallmark Cards in Kansas, USA.
- 1949. World famous UNICEF launch their charity Christmas Card program.
- 1953. First Official White House cards issued by President Eisenhower.
- 1987. One of Sir Henry Coles early cards is sold for £2,000 at auction in London.
- 2000s, 2001. One of the Sir Henry Cole's first Christmas Cards sold at auction for £22,500.
- 2010. 1.5 Billion Christmas Cards are sent in the United States each year.
The most cards sent by one person in a year is 62.824. Nearly enough to cover a football pitch.
In the UK an estimated $80 million (£50M) is raised by Christmas cards for charities each year.
In 2008 the average US family spent $32.43 on Christmas cards. (Compared to £14 - $22.50 for British families)
The most expensive card was sold at auction for $35.800 (£22.500). It was one of the first commercial Christmas cards, commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in 1843 and sent to his grandmother. The artwork was by John Callcott Horsley.
SOURCES: www.oxfam.org.uk, www.posti.fi, www.greetingcardassociation.org.uk, somethinggold.wordress.com, www.history.uk.com, www.emotioncards.com, www.worldcollectorsnet.com, www.whychristmas.com, www.greetingcards.co.uk, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_card, www.worldrecordsacademy.org