Our love affair with Christmas cards

7 reasons to pick up a pen this Christmas

We’re a sentimental bunch us brits. 

Every year, we send nearly 900 million Christmas cards. 900 million! That’s more per person than any other country in the world. 

And I’ll let you in on a little secret. I absolutely love them. From the first red-breasted robin to the last bawdy limerick, I can’t get enough of Christmas cards.  I store them on mantles, I hang them on walls, I even fold them into origami nativity scenes (maybe not that last one). 

As soon as that first emerald envelope hits my doormat, I get all giddy knowing that Christmas is just around the corner. But why do we love this tradition so much? And if you’re a first-time sender, how can you fully embrace the joy of card giving? 

Here are seven reasons why this is the year to start sending Christmas cards

Christmas Cards

An age-old tradition 

Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we? The name Henry Cole may not ring any Christmas bells. But we have him to thank for the Christmas card as we know it today. Back in 1843, the then civil servant teamed up with artist and friend John Horsley to create the very first Christmas card. 

The simple design depicted a hearty family Christmas dinner, complete with turkey and wine-supping children (no, honestly!). Since then, designs have varied from the traditional to the downright bizarre. And these little gestures have been spreading joy for over 150 years. 


Personalised Cards

From me to you

Whichever style you prefer, Christmas cards all share one thing in common. They last. In the age of social media and instant messaging, a Christmas caption can be bashed out in seconds and shared with the entire world. A Christmas card, on the other hand, isn’t so fleeting. 

They act as a physical reminder of our care and affection to those we love. Rather than being resigned to the trash folder, Christmas cards take pride of place in our homes (for a few days at least). In a world where things are designed to be consumed in seconds, there’s something beautiful about a handwritten Christmas card

Christmas Cards

From the heart  

Like writing a good letter (link to letter writing article), penning a Christmas card forces us to slow down and consider what we’re saying. Because we can’t backspace our way out of trouble, every word counts. 

In fact, some of the most touching letters I’ve ever received have been Christmas cards. It’s incredible how open and honest we can be when we pick up a pen. They’re wonderful for the reader too. In a recent study, 83 per cent of people said a handwritten message involved more thought and feeling than a simple text.

So if you haven’t tried it before, make this year the year to send a message from the heart. 

Christmas Cards

Works of art

If you’re anything like me, you adore great design. And if you think Christmas cards aren’t the place for it, think again. Over the last few years, artists have turned cards into an amazing platform for sharing their work with the world. 

Plus have you seen Christmas cards recently? They’re things of beauty! I don’t mean the ones of Santa Claus passed out after too many sherries. I mean the ones hand-drawn by expert illustrators. If you haven’t already, check out our range of festive favourites.   

So if you’re stuck for Christmas gift ideas, a handwritten Christmas card could be the perfect solution. 

Christmas Cards

‘Tis the season to be boastful

Let’s be honest. Who doesn’t love a good brag? When I was growing up, my dad used to compile an annual newsletter of all my family’s achievements. Whether we were passing our driving tests or playing innkeeper 2 in the school play, he would shout it to the heavens. 

And who could blame him? Christmas cards are one of the few chances we get to be unashamedly boastful. Plus my innkeeper 2 was the talk of the town. So if you need an excuse to do a little self-promotion, Christmas cards might just be the ego boost you were looking for.  


Christmas Cards

Write, lick, stamp, repeat 

We each have our own little ways of getting in the festive spirit. Whether it’s the first sip of a gingerbread latte or a cheeky hit of Wham! in October, we all love getting in the mood for Christmas. 

For me, it’s Christmas cards. Every year I set aside one glorious afternoon where I lick, stick and stamp my way into the season. Sure, it helps that I’m a stationery nut but if you’ve never tried it, you’re missing out. 

There are, of course, a few key ingredients to the perfect Christmas card writing session. I would recommend a woolly jumper, a tall glass of mulled wine and a hearty dose of Michael Buble. Bliss. 

Christmas Cards

Express yourself

One of the things I love most about Christmas cards is the chance to express yourself. From understated chic to silly family portraits, they’re a great chance to share a little piece of your personality with those you love most.

And with a wider choice than ever before, you’re bound to find something as unique as you. From subtle and sophisticated to bold and beautiful, there is a Christmas card out there waiting for you.  

Christmas Cards

The future…

You’d be forgiven for thinking Christmas cards are on their way out. But recent research has shown that the next generation of Christmas carders are intent on keeping this wonderful tradition alive. 

My advice? Choose quality over quantity. You don’t need to send them to every person you’ve ever met. Instead, pick a few close friends and family and send a card that they will love. You never know, it might just make their Christmas. 

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to take care of your Christmas cards, check out Bookblock Unlimited. Send as many cards as you like with one monthly subscription. Or for more Christmas present ideas, check out our amazing range of gifts.