Innovation, Christmas Cards And The Internet

Traditions are a part of the cultural heritage of a people. Holidays are a reflection of culture. They are also ripe with a wide variety of traditions. These carry from culture to culture and even within families. For some, the focus is setting up the family nativity scene while others have certain rituals concerning the placement and decoration of the tree. While some families send Christmas cards the traditional way, others are open to allowing those not longer at home as well as friends to send musical Christmas ecards. For them, it is not about the source of the card, it is about the tradition behind it.


Christmas cards are all about innovation meeting tradition. Among Christians and Christmas fans alike, this is the season where giving is important. Yet, giving cards is a rather recent tradition as far as history goes, although, admittedly, substantially older than the current trend to send musical Christmas cards is. Yet, both forms have something in common that extends beyond the common theme. Both types of cards were innovative during their time.

Henry Cole, Louis Prang and the Creation of Christmas Cards

The man instrumental in bringing the Christmas card into being was an Englishman, Sir Henry Cole. He hired respected illustrator John Callcott Horsley in London. The result was the first commercial Christmas card released in May 1843. Cole had previously introduced a means of sending the cards cheaply – the Penny Post. The combination was to prove to be a success. That year, 2, 050 cards were bought and sent or hand delivered.

In England, the system of printed cards became very popular. The new “fad”, however, did not reach the United States until some 30 years later in 1873. The man responsible for this was Louis Prang, a lithographer who had formerly lived in Germany. This began a new American Christmas tradition.

From that time forward, the sending of Christmas cards became an integral part of the Christmas celebrations. Christmas cards became available inexpensively in the newly opened chain stores such as Woolworths. Later they were a stock product of book, stationary and drug stores. Today, they are found in Malls as well as big box outlets and specialty outlets. You can also purchase them online. With the invention of the computer, came another change in Christmas card tradition.

The E-Card: Tradition Continues

The innovate spark that produced the first Christmas card is also responsible for its becoming an online reality. In 1994, Judith Donath came up with the idea and made it work. The arrival of greeting card software meant people were able to send musical Christmas cards. They could also email animated ones or simply send off ones resembling the original types. In this way, tradition, innovation and Christmas cards continue to be linked together today as much as they were in the past.

If you are planning to send Send Musical Christmas Ecards to mark the holiday, see what the Greeting Bear has to offer.

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