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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Devotion: Christmas Greetings

"Greet all the saints in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:21

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Sir Henry Cole, director of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum in Britain, in 1843, decided that there must be a better way of sending holiday greetings to his family, friends, and business associates than the colossal chore of handwriting holiday letters to each, so he commissioned an artist friend, John Calcott Horsley to create a card with a simple message that could be duplicated and sent to all his acquaintances. Horsley lithographed and hand-colored 1,000 copies of this first commercial card. It was a three-panel card – the center panel showed a family celebrating and the two wing panels depicted people feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. The card bore the simple greeting, “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You,” which would become the standard sentiment of commercially mass-produced Christmas cards.

After 1890, Christians, wanting to focus on the reason for the season in their holiday postings, favored religious Christmas cards.

Prayer: Happy Birthday, Jesus! Thank you for loving me so much you would come to earth to be born in a humble village to bring me the good news of God’s saving grace! Remind me to pass forward the message of Christmas joy when I select my cards this year and to greet all in your name.

Today’s Quote:
“ Old Christmas card collections may relate little of importance to the material of ordinary history books, but certainly reveal and preserve almost every other aspect of life and atmosphere, fashion and the changing panorama as seen through the eyes of their contemporaries, and thus provide a realistic background to the appreciation of the more momentous events of the period.” ~ George Buday

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