There’s just something about a paper greeting card that never loses its charm for some of us. We like to hold the greeting in our hands, feel the crisp paper, run our fingers over the words and pictures as if we were trying to absorb the essence of the message. Most of all we like to see the handwritten notes and the signatures of our loved ones. While ecards may be viewed instantly and forgotten over time, printed cards can be saved, cherished and shared for years. Although ecards have replaced printed cards in many instances as the more convenient, inexpensive and quick mode of wishing one another, printed cards still retain that special quality that electronic messages cannot convey effectively.
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As not answering his stack of correspondence appeared impolite, the London socialite decided to speed up the task by enlisting his friend, artist J.C. Horsley, to design a festive card with a fill-in-the-blank salutation in 1843. The first-ever Christmas card soon inspired copycats, with holiday greetings taking off both in Britain and the United States by the end of the century.