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Victorian Christmas Card

Victorian Christmas Card

From Christmas cards to decorated trees and Christmas crackers, many of our best-known Christmas traditions came from the Victorian era.

At the dawn of the 19th century, Christmas was hardly celebrated – at least, not in a way we would recognise today. Many businesses didn't consider it to be a holiday.

Gift-giving had traditionally been a New Year activity but moved as Christmas became more important to the Victorians. By the end of the century, Christmas had become the biggest annual celebration in the British calendar.

Christmas Card

The first Christmas cards were printed in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. He asked an artist to design a seasonal scene for his festive cards. The cards he didn’t use himself were sold to the public. Improvements to the printing process soon made the cards affordable for everyone.

This small Victorian Christmas card from the Museum collection came in a box and the sentiment reads ‘With best Wishes for Christmas’.

Last updated on 23 March 2022