The tradition of holiday cards first began in the United Kingdom in 1843. Sir Henry Cole, a civil servant in the UK who had helped to set up what became the Post Office, together with artist John Horsley, invented the first Christmas card. In 1843 Christmas cards were sold for 1 shilling each (about $0.08 today); the cards had three panels, each containing a depiction of holiday charity. The center panel featured a painting of a family having a large Christmas dinner together. Approximately one thousand of these original cards were printed and sold.
Around 1860, as printing methods had improved, Christmas cards became very popular in the United Kingdom and were cheaper to produce. By 1870, the price of sending a Christmas card had dropped to half a penny, making it much easier for the working class to send cards to loved ones.
Christmas cards began to gain popularity in the United States around the late 1840’s, though they remained an expensive postal luxury until the late 1800’s. In 1875, Louis Prang of Germany began mass production of holiday cards, making it more available and affordable to the public in America. These cards featured flowers, plants, and pictures of children. In 1915, John C. Hall and his brothers created the Hallmark company- arguably the most successful greeting card business in the United States.
Since the early 1930’s, corporate holiday mailings have been a tradition, growing in popularity in the 1980’s and 90’s. It is common now for small businesses to participate in holiday mailings as well. A simple holiday mailing is a great way to let clients know that their sense of joy and comfort is important to you. According to Hallmark sales statistics, more than 1.5 billion holiday cards were sent out in 2015 alone. Was your company part of the holiday mailing buzz?
The Plum Perspective
Everyone loves receiving holiday cards from friends and loved ones. Have holiday mailings become hum drum for your company? Is it just another part of the holiday stress? Here is a fun idea from Plum to make next year’s holiday mailing fun and engaging for everyone:
Holiday Design Competition
For your 2017 holiday mailing, why not make it into a creative competition for people to look forward to all year? Request that all designs be submitted by the end of the fiscal year and have the office vote for their favorite holiday card design. The selected design will be used for the company holiday card that is mailed to clients and will feature the artist’s name somewhere on the card. For a bigger challenge, your company can theme the competition each year! Maybe 2017 is the year for a new Star Wars themed holiday mailing frenzy! Get creative. Share the joy.
And remember- Plum is here to help!