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The Bee’s Knees: Greeting Cards

Posted on Dec 14, 2012 by in Features | 5 comments

oldest Christmas Card

Hello, and welcome to the Bee’s Knees, the weekly special here at Comic Booked where I take a look at some of the different ways people combine words and pictures. This week we’re going to examine something that many of us have already been looking at a lot lately—greeting cards.

Greeting cards have been a tradition for generations. Different designs and branches of greeting cards have come out, from photos to musical to popup… I could probably write a book on all of the variations.

oldest Christmas CardWhen did this trend start? Was it a Victorian craze that lasted? Would the characters of A Christmas Carol have given and received Christmas cards themselves? Yes, as it would turn out. The card you see on the right is the oldest known mass-produced greeting card, dating back to 1843 in England. Each card was hand colored, and there were spaces for a to and from on it. This particular card caused a bit of a controversy in some places because the picture includes a young child drinking wine, though the Christmas spirit easily predominates.

Keep In TouchToday greeting cards have taken on countless new faces and looks. This one by Keep In Touch Stationary Co. features a photograph on the outside for a more personal touch, and the card below, from, is one of the many popup varieties. This is definitely a tradition worth passing on.

And that’s the bee’s knees for this week! Please join me next Friday for another way people blend words and pictures to create all-new forms of holiday art. In the meantime, feel free to tell me in the comments section if there’s something you know of I should write about. What’s your favorite kind of greeting card?

Popup card


  1. So the killing of trees to load down our postal carriers dates back quite far I see. Hallmark would be so proud.

    • One more reason to go digital!

  2. Digital greeting cards are no fun.

    • Beats killing trees though, I'd feel bad if we were all in peril because of our fun.

  3. Print out a picture on photo paper, and only use one 4×6 square…it's a way to save trees but not resort to digital….I just ordered a pack from Ink Technologies and it won't be here for Christmas but I'll be using it for my son's birthday invitations next month! 🙂

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