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I love Christmas and everything that comes with it but especially the cards that drop through my letterbox which make Christmas even more special.

I look forward to sitting down with my address book and writing to some friends and family that I only get in touch with over Christmas. I take my time writing each one with a personal message on what we have been up to over the last twelve months. After the year that we have all been through, I am looking forward to hearing how others have got through the last twelve months.

I include photos of my family in some of the cards as I have two very young grandchildren who are growing fast and one who was born during the lockdown. I even keep in touch with my children’s first babysitter who is now in her late 80’s. She loves to hear how they are and their families are getting on.

I also take my time in choosing my Christmas cards and with personalised ones now available from a number of companies this can make them even more special. With so much choice the hardest thing you will have to do is to decide which one to use. With beautiful and festive designs from Christmas trees, reindeer, snowflakes, Santa, stars, Christmas scenes, and lots more.

Aura Print make some beautiful printed Christmas cards and personalised Christmas gift tags. They provide printing solutions for many businesses in Huddersfield & Yorkshire, and also print for a huge range of different companies across the globe, from the USA to Europe. They really take pride in all their work and think it is a core part of what Aura Print represents. I have dealt with this company before when I had some beautiful business cards made from them.

Since its beginnings in 2007, Aura Print has proven itself time and time again to go above and beyond what our customers expect. From director Liam Smith printing as a one-man operation now to a dedicated team of nearly twenty experienced print professionals, all with their specialities such as foil printing, wide-format print or precision trimming. The main goal has always been to provide high-quality print, that doesn’t break the bank, with expert service to top it all off.

They believe they offer the very best service possible and great prices for every aspect of digital, litho and wide format printing. They also sell flyers, business cards, gift tags, banners, booklets, signage and stickers. You will find some great reviews on their site and from me personally, I am happy to give them five stars.

Some people think that personalised Christmas cards must be expensive but this is not the case with Aura Print. A personalised Christmas Card or Gift Tag will make your gifts very special.

The history of the Christmas card courtesy of The Smithsonian Magazine started with a prominent educator and patron of the arts, Henry Cole who travelled in the elite, social circles of early Victorian England, and had the misfortune of having too many friends.

During the holiday season of 1843, those friends were causing Cole much anxiety. The problem was their letters: An old custom in England, the Christmas and New Year’s letter had received a new impetus with the recent expansion of the British postal system and the introduction of the “Penny Post” allowing the sender to send a letter or card anywhere in the country by affixing a penny stamp to the correspondence.

Now, everybody was sending letters. Sir Cole – best remembered today as the founder of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London – was an enthusiastic supporter of the new postal system, and he enjoyed being the 1840’s equivalent of an A-Lister, but he was a busy man. As he watched the stacks of unanswered correspondence he fretted over what to do. “In Victorian England, it was considered impolite not to answer mail, ” says Ace Collins, author of Stories Behind The Great Traditions of Christmas. “He had to figure out a way to respond to all of these people.”

Cole hit on an ingenious idea. He approached an artist friend, J.C. Horsley, and asked him to design an idea that Cole had sketched out in his mind. Cole then took Horsley’s illustration – a triptych showing a family at a table celebrating the holiday flanked by images of people helping the poor – and had a thousand copies made by a London printer. The image was printed on a piece of stiff cardboard. At the top of each was the salutation, “TO:_” allowing Cole to personalise his responses, which included the generic greeting “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You”. It was the first Christmas Card.

Appreciation of the quality and the artistry of the cards grew in the late 1800s, spurred in part by competitions organized by card publishers, with cash prizes offered for the best designs. People soon collected Christmas cards like they would butterflies or coins, and the new crop each season were reviewed in newspapers, like books and films today.

However, the first recorded use of ‘Merry Christmas‘ was in a Christmas letter sent in 1534. The first known item that looked a bit like a Christmas card was given to King James I of England (who was also King James VI of Scotland) in 1611. This was more like a large ornamental manuscript rather than a card as we think of them today. It was 84cm x 60cm (33″ x 24″) and was folded into panels (it might have been folded so it could be carried around). It had a picture of a rose in the centre and a Christmas and New Year message to the King and his son was written into and around the rose. Also on the manuscript were four poems and a song – so rather more than are on cards today!

Source: Aura Print, Why Christmas and Smithsonian Magazine

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