In the early 19th century it was common practice to hand write seasonal messages on calling cards or in letters. In 1843, in order to save himself having to hand-write dozens of Christmas messages, Sir Henry Cole had his friend, John Calcott Horsley, design and print a batch of cards. The words printed on the card were 'A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year' much the same is still found in cards today.
As Habermas points out in his seminal work on the Public Sphere, the post office and communications are key to not only the development of capitalism but also the concept of public space that is public communications arising out of private communications. This post card reflects the reality making public what had been a private matter, that is letter writing. The result would then be a whole communications industry devoted to greeting cards, which then created the conditions for public holidays and the resulting mass consumer society of department stores and mass advertising.
Donalda and I are taking our dogs; Trooper and Tami, off for a jaunt in the mountains for Xmas. So I won't be blogging for several days.
We are going to Jasper. Like Banff a national park created by slave labour, after WWI, using Ukrainian Internees. I will raise a glass in their memory.
Have a great Yule all. Drink a cup o' cheer to keep away the winter cold.
Here are links to my previous articles for this season.
Virgin Birth Announced
WWI Xmas Mutiny
Christmas In the Trenches
Merry Christmas Red Baron
Santa's Sweat Shop
Chavez Puts Christ In Christmas
Keeping the 'X' in X-Mas
Chuck Jones Explains It All
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