O Holy Night – Boxed Christmas Cards

$14.50 $12.50

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Beautiful boxed set of 16 Christmas Cards.

Within the set there are 4 sets of 4 varieties.  The beautiful artwork by Hector Garrido, is presented in vibrant blues and reds and complimented with the soft hues of brown and gold.

Each card has the scripture verse from Luke 2:19-20 – Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.  While the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen.

The custom of sending Christmas cards dates back to the United Kingdom, in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. He was a senior civil servant (Government worker) who had helped set-up the new ‘Public Record Office’ (now called the Post Office), where he was an Assistant Keeper, and wondered how it could be used more by ordinary people.

Sir Henry had the idea of Christmas Cards with his friend John Horsley, who was an artist. They designed the first card and sold them for 1 shilling each. (That is only 5p or 8 cents today(!), but in those days it was worth much much more.) The card had three panels. The outer two panels showed people caring for the poor and in the center panel was a family having a large Christmas dinner!  About 1000 or so, were printed and sold. They are very rare and cost thousands of Pounds or Dollars to buy now!

As printing methods improved, Christmas cards became much more popular and were produced in large numbers from about 1860. In 1870 the cost of sending a post card, and also Christmas cards, dropped to half a penny. This meant even more people were able to send cards.

The first cards usually had pictures of the Nativity scene on them. In late Victorian times, robins (a British bird) and snow-scenes became popular. In those times the postmen were nicknamed ‘Robin Postmen’ because of the red uniforms they wore. Snow-scenes were popular because they reminded people of the very bad winter that happened in the UK in 1836.

Christmas Cards appeared in the United States of America in the late 1840s, but were very expensive and most people couldn’t afford them. It 1875, Louis Prang, a printer who was originally from German but who had also worked on early cards in the UK, started mass producing cards so more people could afford to buy them. Mr Prang’s first cards featured flowers, plants, and children. In 1915, John C. Hall and two of his brothers created Hallmark Cards, who are still one of the biggest card makers today!



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John Paul II Centre for Life, Auckland

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