The Christmas Card: To Send or Not to Send?

Christmas cards are a long-standing Christmas tradition, starting as far back as the early 1600s. The tradition slowly developed in England, and became more popular in 1843 with the first known commercial card being produced and sent through the “penny post”. Only the wealthy could afford to send Christmas cards before transportation development expanded, and the lower classes could afford to greet loved ones at Christmas through the mail. Queen Victoria helped encourage the tradition along as she participated in sending Christmas cards designed with a portrait of she and her family. As the tradition stuck within 40 years the Christmas card industry had taken off, producing over 11 million Christmas cards in 1880. 

Now, just shy of 200 years later, the Christmas card industry and the USPS are in cahoots, estimating about 1.3 billion Christmas cards are sent annually. Come winter, the mail boxes seem to be stuffed with envelopes and letters from loved ones. The digital age has made designing and ordering Christmas cards a breeze. Some companies even offer the feature of addressing the envelopes, and mailing the cards to your entire list. 

We love sending Christmas cards to get the news of our year out all at once, but we also send them because we love receiving them. It’s amazing to see how kids have grown, ogle over a new baby, celebrate a wedding, and remember those who have passed. But has the stack of cards pile up on the counter, it’s important to have a display plan for all the cards. Shuffling them around from place to place or shoving them all in a basket reduces the amount of joy they provide. Seeing them again and again over the Christmas season reminds us of the Christmas spirit shared between friends. 

Displaying Christmas cards in a way where they don’t get in the way, yet they are visible during the Christmas season can be tricky if not done well. The mail can stack up, and with no place for the cards instead of being fun, Christmas cards become stressful. Here are three ideas of great ways to display Christmas cards:


A garland is a Christmas decoration staple, and a favorite in many homes. Why not put it to good use? Any garland, with some clothes pins or clips, can become a Christmas card display. Whether a green live cedar bough, a festive ribbon, or yard stung with wooden beads, any of these garlands provide an easy way to display Christmas cards. 

Framed Chicken Wire

A very casual, farmhouse-style Christmas card display would be easy to make or up-cycle with some craft skills and know how. A simple four-sided frame with metal chicken wire stapled to the back makes an easy way to display Christmas cards. If you anticipate receiving a lot of cards, create multiple frames or fashion an over-sized frame to hold all the cards. The Christmas cards can easily be attached, moved and rearranged with clothes pins. 


Aligned with the Christmas theme, a table-top wire tree would be another beautiful way to display Christmas cards. The cards act as the ornaments and decoration to the simple tree, and it grows with the season. Of course, if you get too many cards in the mail, and run out of tree branches to attach cards to, you might need to expand to a forest of Christmas card trees. 

Christmas cards are a Christmas tradition withstanding the test of time. They keep us close with the people we love the most, and they’re worth the yearly effort. They're a type of personalized Christmas ornament that's like no other!

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Written by

Rachael Mitchell

Rachael Mitchell is a freelance writer based in Seattle, Washington, and has over 15 years of writing experience. She’d never be able to pick just one favorite ornament, but narrowed it down to the S’more and Tennis Ball. She always looks forward to s’mores in the summer with friends and family adding gourmet ingredients, and played 4 years of college tennis in the mid-west.

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