Very first Christmas Card with verses and rhymes: by Browning Real Estate School/Colorado

Education & Training with Browning Real Estate School/REO Institute

The very first Christmas Card (below) 

Self made cards with verses have been sent, by hand or by post, for centuries. The first that's recognizable as what we now think of as a Christmas card, that is, a printed card sent by post, was sent at Christmas 1843.


Sir Henry Cole, the founder of the London's Victoria and Albert Museum, had sent many handwritten cards previously but that year he commissioned John Calcott Horsley to paint a card showing the feeding and clothing of the poor.


"A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You" was printed on the first Christmas card.


Since then the billions of cards that have been sent almost all contain a printed verse. Many of these are culled from religious or sentimental texts, notably from Victorian authors such as Charles Dickens.


Here's a selection of the verses and rhymes that have been used as source material by Christmas card writers - from the touching and profound to the comic and cynical:


A Christmas shopper's complaint is one of long-standing.


Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love! - Hamilton Wright Mabie


Christmas ... is not an eternal event at all, but a piece of one's home that one carries in one's heart. - Freya Stark 


Christmas is a time when you get homesick - even when you're home. - Carol Nelson


Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind. - Mary Ellen Chase


The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. - Burton Hillis   


And Finally:


Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fire-side and his quiet home! - Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers, 1836

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Posted by

James A. Browning MRE, CIPS, CDEI, REOCertified®, CEC, BPOR, ShortSaleCertified®, SFR

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Comments (4)

Paul Collier
Patriot Home Mortgage - Huntington Beach, CA
Paul Collier

I read somewhere that first Christmas card created quite a stir, accused of "promoting drunkness" because everyone was tipping a toast. Now I've seen cards with a passed out Santa near the toilet. My, how far we've come...or fallen. Ha! Thanks for the great verses. I really enjoyed reading those this morning.

Dec 20, 2013 03:45 AM
James A. Browning
Browning Real Estate School/REO Institute - International, IT
MRE REOCertified(R) SSCertified

Thanks Paul for your comments. Have a Merry X-Mas, James

Dec 20, 2013 04:08 AM
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

James, what a charming story about the origin of Christmas cards! Amazing how the tradition has remained after all these years.

Dec 20, 2013 09:13 AM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

James, these are good. Some are thoughtful and tug at your heart strings; some make you chuckle and laugh out loud. You have a beautiful Christmas 'all wrapped up' in family, memories, love, joy, and peace.'

Dec 20, 2013 09:38 AM