We have the Victorians to thank for the Christmas card. The first card, with this scandalous image of a family drinking wine together, was sent out in Britain in 1843:
More than 150 years later, we are still following the Victorian tradition of sending and receiving Christmas cards.
I have assembled some of my favourite Victorian-era cards from an historically-important Canadian collection, which dates from 1840 to 1920. The Kenneth Rowe Collection is owned by Library and Archives Canada.
(Apologies in advance for my feeble attempt at humour. You might need a Canadian on hand to help you get some of the jokes!)
1. “May you keep up your heart under all trials this festive season” = Yes, Christmas can be stressful, but this is what happens when you let the Cirque du Soleil give you a haircut!
3. Santa 1 and 2 were busy, so we got Sneaky Santa No. 3…
4. It’s lovely weather for daredevil sleigh riders on the precipice of Niagara Falls.
5. Two freakishly small lacrosse players on a Maple Leaf. Two tiny men fall in love and get legally married on a Canadian Maple Leaf. I could go on…
6. Due to the recent economic downturn, the Canadian government has cancelled the purchase of Santa’s new sleigh. This year, he will cross Canada on foot. Please expect some delays in your child’s toy delivery.
Merry Christmas from the Great White North!