Christmas cards connect us to family and friends. Cards remind us that someone cares and, more importantly, has taken the time to remember us.
Christmas cards originated in England over 150 years ago. In 1843 Sir Henry Cole, the founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, had so many Christmas greetings to send that handwriting them was impossible. Yet he wanted to make his friends aware of the need to help the destitute on that holiday. His answer was to commission John Calcott Horsley to paint a card showing the feeding and clothing of the poor. A center panel displayed a happy family embracing one another, sipping wine and enjoying the festivities, and the words “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You was printed on that first card. Although he had the best intentions, the card drew criticism for showing a child enjoying a sip of wine and Sir Henry was considered to be”fostering the moral corruption of children.” ” Legend says Sir Henry didn’t send any cards the following year, but the custom became popular anyway.
From this first-known Christmas card a flourishing card industry has evolved. That early card was hand-colored and lithographed on stiff cardboard, then delivered by hand, a far cry from today’s mass production and almost instant delivery of internet e-cards.
Still, the overriding purpose and custom of exchanging Christmas cards grows out of that very human need to connect. Christmas is that special time of year that makes us feel that we are all a part of the same family and being part of the same family we owe each other some measure of good. Christmas cards are one way we convey this to others and make them feel special?
How do we transform this to make it a reminder of the birth of Jesus Christ?
As Christians, we are all part of Jesus’ family. The world should know us by our love. Jesus came to show us how to love one another, care for one another, and encourage one another, not just at Christmas but all year through. John 17:11 (Msg) For I’m no longer going to be visible in the world; they’ll continue in the world while I return to you. Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life that you conferred as a gift through me, So they can be one heart and mind as we are one heart and mind.