Christmas Card Day

Christmas Card Day is a holiday that falls annually on December 9th—a day on which people traditionally need to get out their Christmas cards if they want them to reach their destination in time for Christmas. From this date onward, people only have 16 days in which to buy their cards and stamps, add a heartfelt message to them, and then toss them into the mail.

It doesn’t matter if you’re sending a traditional holiday card, a Christmas letter, a photo card, or special holiday greetings from a business you own; make sure to get your cards out so loved ones can feel the warmth of your holiday greetings.

The History Of Christmas Cards

Although our research has failed to uncover who invented Christmas Card Day or when it was invented, we were able to find out how Christmas cards came into existence. To find the origins of this Christmas tradition, you have to travel back to 1843 to find a man named Henry Cole.

With the expansion of the British postal system opening up routes all over the place and the Penny Post making it more affordable to send letters, people began to send more letters to one another in Victorian England. While this was convenient for most people, it proved to be a royal pain for Henry Cole.

Sir Cole was very popular and would receive a ton of mail—mail that he couldn’t hope to keep up with. This presented a problem for him since ignoring mail was considered impolite at the time. So he had to figure out a way to send correspondence to all these people quickly and without a lot of effort. And this is when he was hit with a pretty big idea.

His big idea was a card printed on stiff cardboard that measured 5-1/8 inches by 3-1/4 inches with an image designed by an artist friend of his, J.C. Horsley. The picture was a triptych showing a family celebrating the holidays at a table flanked by panels of people helping the poor.

He took it to a London printer and had a thousand copies made with the salutation at the top that said: “To ___,” letting him personalize the response on each card. This was then followed by a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year greeting. He had, in effect, just invented the first Christmas card.

Unfortunately, his Christmas card did manage to stir up a bit of controversy. In the image on the front of the card, the children appear to be enjoying glasses of wine with their parents and older siblings.

This seemed to suggest that he was advocating drinking by children, which was a big deal considering the temperance movement had just recently begun in England. Fortunately for all of us, the criticism didn’t stop people from appreciating the concept of the Christmas card, and the rest is history.

Observing Christmas Card Day

Christmas Card Day is observed simply by sending out those holiday cards. This day isn’t a day to procrastinate, so get those traditional cards, or E-cards if you prefer, out to friends and family members. While you do so, be sure to use the hashtag #ChristmasCardDay on your social media posts for the day to encourage everyone else to get their cards out as well.

When is it?
This year (2024)
December 9 Monday
Next year (2025)
December 9 Tuesday
Last year (2023)
December 9 Saturday
Relationships & Family