In the days before Christmas cards, many families would send each other letters that shared family news, stories and adventures. For the average family, writing and receiving letters was a major event (since this was before the age of the Internet, TV, telephones, and even reliable postal delivery).
Early Christmas cards were hand drawn or painted by the sender and highly valued by the recipient. They took a long time to create and each one was unique. Printers began to duplicate the original Christmas card pictures and print them in quantity as the custom spread.
The tradition of exchanging Christmas cards spread throughout the world and soon millions of people were sending and receiving Christmas cards. Today, the variety of Christmas cards is nearly unlimited, including, (going full circle back to the early Christmas cards), many people who today design, create, and print their own unique Christmas cards with their home computers and color printers.
Though traditionally Christmas cards were always
signed by hand, many people choose to personalize
their Christmas cards by having their name
or names imprinted at the bottom to save time.