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One of the most identifiable traditions of Christmas is sending Christmas cards filled with merriness of the season and heartfelt greetings. Christmas cards got their start in the 1840's by Sir Henry Cole. He commissioned the artist John Callcott Horsley to make a greeting with illustrations and a message. The first Christmas card read ''"A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You" and showed an illustration of a lively party scene. In little time, this practice gained popularity because they inexpensive to buy and cost less to send. As demand rose Christmas cards became more elaborate and creative. Now cards are available for every occasion and are the perfect way to convey best wishes to loved ones. Christmas cards will always have a special place for those who celebrate the holiday.

Origins of Christmas Cards
New York City

Learn how the tradition of Christmas cards got started.

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