We still send and enjoy receiving Christmas card, a tradition which started with the first commercially printed card in 1843. It was created by Henry Cole, John Calcott Horsley, and Joseph Cundall, and depicts a large family assembled round a table, making merry and drinking wine.
What might seem to be an innocent and festive scene, on closer inspection has a slightly darker side to it. One of those imbibing the Yuletide wine is a young girl and this raised the hackles of the British temperance movement, whose influence was its height at the time. Such was the stushie that the card caused that it was another three years before commercial Christmas cards were produced again.
Just one thousand of the original cards were produced and only thirty are known to have survived. One is now up for sale through a Boston-based book seller, Marvin Getman, with an asking price of $25,000.
I think I will stick to my stock of charity cards.