5 things you never knew about the Christmas card


You’ve probably been writing your Christmas cards recently and it is a tradition that goes back centuries. With millions of cards sent out across the UK each year, how much do you know about the origins of the humble Christmas card?


Here are some interesting facts you might not know about our festive favourite.


First Christmas card now worth £20,000!

The first commercial Christmas card was created in the UK by artist John Callcott Horsley for Sir Henry Cole in 1843. They sold for a shilling each, which is around 5p in today’s money, although it would have been a whole day’s wages for most at the time. There were fewer than 1000 of these designs printed. Nowadays less than 20 of Horsley’s Christmas cards, which showed three generations of a family toasting, remain in existence. Their rare existence means in 2001 an original card sold at auction for £20,000. That’s definitely one to keep!


Britain sends the most cards in the world

According to the Greeting Card Association, the UK purchases more cards per person than any other country in the world today. The Royal Mail estimates that it delivers 150 million cards during the Christmas period, with one billion Christmas cards sold in the UK each year. It is a trend set to continue with a 2020 survey showing 79% of consumers planned to send the same or more Christmas cards in the future. Who said snail mail was a thing of the past?


Santa in decline

Once a firm favourite on Christmas cards across the country depictions of Father Christmas have declined by 3.6 per cent over the last decade. Polar bears are now the most popular character on Christmas cards with many animal characters now wearing Santa’s trademark hat.

Those cards that do feature the big man himself also seem to show Father Christmas losing 12kg in the last decade as he slims down from traditional depictions. His rosy cheeks have also changed from Pantone colour code 217 to Pantone 177 and his famous red outfit has deepened in colour in recent years moving from Pantone 1795 to Pantone 1807. You heard it here, even Santa has a brand colour!


Women are responsible for 85% of card sales

Around 45% of all greeting card sales are for Christmas cards, yet only 15% of those are purchased by men, with women being most likely to buy and send Christmas cards in the festive season.


Changing shape of the Christmas card

The traditional folded Christmas card we use today wasn’t around until the early 20th century. The Hall Brothers (now known as Hallmark) created the folded card as people were becoming frustrated by the original postcard style card which didn’t have enough room to write everything on.

Today more and more innovative designs are being created for Christmas cards with pop up, fold out and unique shaped cards becoming ever popular. There is even a company in America creating hand painted designs crafted with gold leaf and platinum gild as well as rubies and precious gems which sell for a staggering £6000 a card and take a month to produce each one!



Whatever your favourite Christmas card style, all the team at LG Davis would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for the coming year.


If you need any help with finalising Christmas card or other printed materials please get in touch with one of our sales team who will be able to help.





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