Roses for Christmas and New Year Gnomes

Posted by Karen Goode on

In our extensive collection of Victorian Christmas cards, you'll find a theme that may surprise you: Flowers!. Today we associate Christmas cards with scenes of children in the snow, nativity scenes, Christmas angels, holly wreaths, funny reindeer, maybe redbirds and snowflakes, and of course Santa Claus, but Victorian cards featured an even wider range of imagery, including flowers.

Floral Christmas cards were part of the Victorians' deep love for flowers, and they are sweet to use today for something different at the holidays.  We think these antique floral greeting cards are lovely and quaint -- they certainly reflect the "shabby chic" romantic spirit!

You'll find a good selection of them, btw, in our Victorian Holidays collection on CD-- and also with the holiday greetings text removed in our Victorian Flowers collection, to use as flower pictures in your scrapbooking, card making and art (they're great all-year round!)

ABOUT CHRISTMAS CARDS:  The custom of sending greeting cards at Christmas began in Victorian London in about 1840, and in 1875 Boston lithographer Louis Prang began publishing Christmas cards in America. The earliest cards usually featured colorful flower blossoms or pictures of birds or children.These early cards were expensive and were sent mostly by wealthier people.

It wasn't long before inexpensive holiday cards, sometimes imported from Germany, became available, and it was these "penny postcards" that were sent by most Americans until WWI.  Christmas postcards were also popular in many European countries, and have collected many in French and German as well as English (many feature photographs).  
Did you know that New Year greeting cards were wildly popular during the Victorian and Edwardian eras? We've collected hundreds of vintage Happy New Year postcards as well. Many of them feature beautiful photos of children or romantic couples; illustrations of ladies, children, Father Time and Baby New Year and plenty of cherubs drinking champagne (!); good luck symbols such as horseshoes, shamrocks, coins, and pigs (!); and gnomes -- yes, New Year gnomes were a popular theme, apparently! I'll show off some of the pretty photo cards in a few days, but for now here are these guys...


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