20 Dec 2016

Inexplicable Victorian Christmas cards

I'm sure there's quite a few readers out there who share that familiar sinking feeling when a lovely, hand-written, square envelope lands on your hallway floor.  "Oh no - people are still sending me Christmas cards, and I haven't done them since I was twelve and left them in people's lockers at break time!  I simply have to do them, next year..."

Despite my own non-carding activities, I think it's lovely that people are still taking the time to make and buy and send Christmas cards.  Much like the continued survival of magazines, it seems they are a little piece of paper tradition which people are happy to keep a hold of in the modern digital world.

So after my post on the history of Halloween, I was looking forward to doing some historical research on Christmas, and I thought - why not look into Christmas cards? 

Little did I know I was soon to discover that Victorian Christmas cards are as mad as a box of frogs (quite literally).

Here is just a small selection of some of the weirdest I came across:

You wouldn't want this guy to turnip at your door..

I think they're arguing - he looks a little henpecked
Seasons squeakings
I think the printers just wanted to re-use an old children's book illustration here
Fancy a kiss?
Wait... that's snowman - that's a woman!

And I cannot find reason nor rhyme for it, but frogs seem to be a favourite feature:

Daylight froggery!  Call the tadpolice! 

I told him to be careful with that drum - he'll ribbit

Okay, this one is definitely a recycled fairy tale picture
There's four frogs which need to be mistle-toad away...

"Just write 'A Joyful Christmas to you' along the bottom and start printing it.  No one will care"

Hopping it won't be raining cats and frogs this Christmas

That's one crazy stag do!

Those card givers had better prepare themselves for a surprise, as I think I may have come up with a plan for next year...

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