Check out some Victorian Era Holiday cards we find interesting.
Once upon a time, a wealthy English businessman commissioned the first actual Christmas greeting card around the same time as when Charles Dickens came out with “A Christmas Carol”. The holiday card was a pleasant scene wherein everyone looks to be enjoying a holiday meal together with drinks and food aplenty.
The sentiment reads, “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to you”. Lovely, pleasant, and not at all morose. Now let’s see some of the more weird cards that bring us a special kind of joy.
Lots of Victorian Christmas cards feature anthropomorphized animals, like a rooster and chicken sledding down a hill. It reads “here’s a Crow for Christmas.” This one is our personal favorite.
Who doesn’t want to hang out with this family that stays together by drinking together while also being pulled around in a neat looking sled by an inebriated looking hog. This card reads, “Glædelig Jul” (Danish for Merry Christmas).
Greeting cards, in general, are linked socially, economically, and politically to the culture, period, and place of their origin and use. “Sentiments and designs that may seem unusual today were often considered signs of good fortune, while others poked fun at superstitions,” says Samantha Bradbeer an archivist and historian for Hallmark Cards, Inc. (Ponti, Crystal. Some of the Earliest Christmas cards were Morbid and Creepy, History.com. 2019)
This next card just says “A Happy Christmas” while
Santa nonchalantly places a bewildered child into his sack.
In another, one frog kills another frog for what maybe 2000 pounds, Stirling, or maybe just flies (hardy har). The sentiments on the cards read, “A Merry Christmas to you”.
Once the popularity of Christmas cards grew, Victorians wanted to see more novelty. “By 1885, unique and even bizarre cards with silk fringe, glittered attachments and mechanical movements were popular, but the more common Christmas card motifs related to flora and fauna, seasonal vignettes and landscapes,” Says Bradbeer.
It seems as though these owls and rabbits are taunting this blindfolded rabbit in the middle until you read the sentiments and it becomes a much lovelier card than you expected. “By Loving friends you are surrounded. Oh, be not blind to this, I pray. They wish that joy and mirth unbounded may crown your happy Christmas day.” Then you come to find that they are just friends in a snowy field, enjoying each other’s company. Playing a rousing game of whatever might be going on here.
Your Christmas cards do not have to wacky like the ones of Victorian-era past. Make your family or clients feel appreciated by sending a Season’s Greetings in your own way. With a little bit of help from us, make someone’s season just a little brighter.
If you would like to know a more in-depth history of Victorian Holiday cards check out this article on History.com: Some of the Earliest Christmas Cards were Morbid and Creepy.
Want to check out more images of creepy Victorian cards?
Undine @HorribleSanity on Twitter
Susan Kuhlman on Pinterest
The Daily Mail