A Merry Christmas to You All


 Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all readers and bloggers.

J’accuse will be taking a two day pause till Boxing Day.


About the Picture 

What is believed to be one of the first mass-produced Christmas cards — dating back more than 160 years — can be found among the extensive special collections of Bridwell Library at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology.The lithographed card caused a controversy in some quarters of Victorian English society when it was published in 1843 because it prominently features a child taking a sip from a glass of wine.

Approximately 1,000 copies of the card were printed but only 10 have survived to modern times. Bridwell Library acquired its copy in 1982. The card was designed for Henry Cole by his friend, the English painter John Calcott Horsley (1808-1882). Cole wanted a ready-to-mail greeting card because he was too busy to engage in the traditional English custom of writing notes with Christmas and New Year’s greetings to friends and family.

The card pre-dated color printing so it was hand-colored. The card is divided into three panels with the center panel depicting a family drinking wine at a celebration and the flanking panels illustrating charitable acts of feeding and clothing the poor. The greeting reads: “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.”

Cole, who also wrote and published Christmas books, printed more cards than he needed so he sold the extra cards for one shilling each. Bridwell Library’s card was signed by Cole and addressed to the engraver of the card, John Thompson (1785-1866).

Widespread commercial printing of Christmas cards began in the 1860s, when a new process of color printing lowered the manufacturing cost and the price. Consequently, the custom of sending printed Christmas greetings spread throughout England. The first American Christmas card dates from about 1850 and resembles Horsley’s design.


9 responses to “A Merry Christmas to You All

  1. Merry Christmas to you too, though lately i started celebrating the original feast……Happy Sol Invictus to ALL!!!

  2. A very merry Christmas to you, too. And thanks for the interesting info about cards!

  3. Wow, it was great to read all that about Christmas cards.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and may the New Year be full of blessings, All the best,

  4. Merry Christmas to you Jacques!

    Talking about Christmas cards, it is quite interesting that one of the very first ones wasn’t of a religious theme. I remember in Primary school being told to keep the tradition of keeping Christmas cards religious. Nowadays they are usually seen at the very bottom shelf where you can’t be bothered to bend for!

  5. Seasons Greeting everybody.

    Those who are attending the midnight mass do not forget to pray for my lost soul.

  6. Rupert

    Sol invictus” was the sun god; the day was “Dies Natalis solis invicti” so it should be a happy dies natalis sol invicti. Which it isn’t exactly. The undefeated sun is born on 21 December as everyone knows but the roman calendar had already gone out of sync when the date was incorrectly identified as 25 December. Let’s all thank Pope Gregory for setting straight what the pagans made crooked.

    Oh God, I should try and change from my old self this year.

  7. fausto, ma tinbidilx!! kont lest nilghab il-flus li ha tikkummenta. i-festi t-tajba lilek ukoll

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