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I borrowed a book from the library recently called Aunt Olga`s Christmas Postcards. It`s based on a little girl whose great- great aunt collected Christmas postcards. Over tea and gingerbread cookies, the aunt and niece studied her collection one day. It turns out that Aunt Olga`s first job was writing ditties for Christmas cards. The two decide to write each other poems for Christmas.
I was amazed at the beautiful artwork adorned on these postcards and decided to google the topic. It turns out that the first postcards were produced in 1870. They were sent out not only at Christmas but also St. Patrick`s Day, Halloween, birthdays, etc. In a day and age where people didn`t have telephones, mail was the primary form of communication. The majority of the early Christmas postcards were printed in Britain and Germany. They included photographs, illustrations, sketches and embossings.
Christmas postcards enjoyed their heyday between 1900 and the First World War, during which time soldiers and nurses exchanged them with loved ones. However, since many of them were printed in Germany, the war interrupted their sales. Eventually, full-size cards took the place of postcards. But Christmas cards did not have the quaint simplicity of the postcards. Today, people like Aunt Olga can collect vintage Christmas postcards online. Frohliche Weihnachten!
Note: Read Aunt Olga`s Christmas Postcards (Kevin Major).
Image courtesy 2.bp.blogspot.com.
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