Welcome Guest – Julie Lence!!

Julie Lence LogoOrigin of the Christmas Card

The Christmas season is upon us. Folks are rushing from store to store, or combing through Amazon’s gazillion pages, to find the perfect present at the lowest price. Cookies bake in the oven, turkeys and hams are bought in anticipation of a scrumptious meal, and somewhere in between attending parties and wrapping gifts, many people take the time to address and send Christmas cards to their loved ones and friends.

Horsely Christmas card for ColeThe Christmas card was first introduced in the UK in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole. Cole worked as a civil servant and wanted to find a way for the average person to use the Public Post Office. Up until this time, only rich folk could afford the price of postage. When the UK began using trains instead of horses and carriages to ship mail, the Penny Post was created, making it possible for the common person to afford the price of postage.

Having little time to keep up on his own correspondence, Cole hired his friend, John Horsley, to design a Christmas card he could send to family and friends in lieu of writing long missives. Horsley crafted a card with three panels. The outer panels depicted scenes of people caring for the poor. The middle panel featured a family enjoying Christmas dinner. One thousand cards were printed and sold for a schilling. When people realized these cards could be mailed in an unsealed envelope for half a penny, they became very popular in the UK.

Prang's Christmas cardChristmas cards were also introduced to the United States in the 1840’s. Since they were costly, most Americans couldn’t afford to buy them. R.H Pease is credited with crafting and distributing the first American made Christmas card in the United States. Pease owned a variety store in Albany, N.Y and his cards depicted scenes of families, reindeer, Santa, and Christmas presents and foods.

In 1875, Louis Prang began mass producing greeting cards in the United States. Originally from Germany and a printer, Prang arrived in the States in the 1850’s. He’d previously worked in the UK on their earlier cards. By 1870, Prang owned two-thirds of America’s steam presses and had perfected the color printing process of chromolithography. Upon distributing his cards at an 1873 exposition, his agent’s wife suggested he add Christmas cards to his line. He did and the cards were an instant success with the American people, so much so Prang had difficulty keeping up with the demand for them. He later took up the English printers’ practice of offering prizes to artists with the best designs for his cards. Many of the winners crafted Biblical scenes, putting religious significance into the Christmas card, which had been lacking until that time.

religious Christmas cardHallmark is the greeting card giant in today’s society. John C. Hall and two of his brothers developed Hallmark Cards in 1915. It’s estimated that 1.6 – 1.9 billion Christmas cards are purchased in the United States each year. Though my list has dwindled through the years, I’m happy to say I’m one of those purchasers.

As a Thank You for joining me today, I’m giving away 3 e-book copies of my latest short Christmas story, Christmas Wishes. I wish you all a joyous and blessed holiday season.


Christmas Wishes
Click cover to order


U.S. Marshall Chance McBride has spent weeks tracking Steve ‘Smarty’ Jones. Ambushed and wounded by the outlaw, Chance is forced to seek help at a nearby school. But the teacher isn’t what he imagined. Instead of a male wearing trousers, a female takes charge of his care. Bright blue eyes and soft curves; Tabitha’s sassy nature awakens a deep-seated loneliness only she and a Christmas wish can soothe.

Tabitha Weston has never favored anything girlie. She’d rather saddle-break wild horses than bat her eyelashes and flirt with a man. But one glimpse into Chance’s molasses-colored eyes and Tabitha’s abhorrence to relationships is suddenly corralled by her need to win the lawman’s favor. Can a wish upon Christmas snow for him to trade the freedom of the trail for a home with her actually come true? She’s about to find out.

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32 thoughts on “Welcome Guest – Julie Lence!!”

  1. Howdy, Julie! Thanks for sharing the history of Christmas cards. One of these days, my head is going to explode from all the knowledge I gain on this blog. 😀

    Let me just say readers can’t go wrong with your books. I’m eager to read this one!

    • Hi Kathleen: It’s always a pleasure to guest blog here at P&P. I know what you mean by head exploding with knowledge. I read something, tell myself I’ll remember and then spend days trying to find it again. Have a Merry Christmas! Looking forward to more stories from you, Juls

  2. Welcome to Wildflower Junction, Julie! Thanks for the background on Christmas cards. There sure are some beautiful ones out there. I particularly like the Victorian-looking ones from the past.

    What a beautiful cover on your book. Best wishes for a lovely Christmas season to you!

    • Hi Kathryn: I’m like you. In researching Christmas cards I prefer the ones from the past. The scenery and characters on the cards are beautiful. Have a great weekend! Julie

  3. I love giving and receiving Christmas cards… when I was a kid… I loved making my own… I now encourage my little nephew to do the same! 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Happy Holidays!

    • Hi Colleen: I just put mine in the mail yesterday. My brothers and sister and me used to make the paper chains when we were little. Occasionally, we made cards. Seasons Greetings to you and your family. Julie

  4. Hi Julie……Welcome back to P&P! We’re so happy to see you. And you’ve been busy. Love the new book! Just what we need for Christmas.

    Great blog. I didn’t know much about the early Christmas cards so it’s interesting to see how they started. I love those cards from times past. The ones I’m giving this year have that vintage look. I just love them.

    Wishing you much success and a wonderful and Merry Christmas!

    • Hi Linda: I’m so happy to have been here yesterday. My day started off with a Bang, with one thing after another, hence my reason for being late to the party. Congratulations on your new release. I’m looking forward to reading, and glad you liked mine.

      I think the vintage cards have a classy quality about them, like the actors/actresses from the 40’s and 50’s. Some years I’ll go for sending out a western card, but more often, I tend to lead to something with a church and lots of glitter, that I swear I won’t do next year because it gets all over everything. But I do anyway. Have a Merry Christmas! Julie

  5. I haven’t started my Cards yet either,i did get the stamps but that’s as far as ive gotten,,thanks for the reminder

  6. I love the old style cards. The Victorian style art work is so appealing. I have found some from the early 1900’s and they still have the look of elegant innocence that I like. To me, many of the cards from the 1930’s and 1940’s have a more cartoonish look to them.
    I have heard people complain about the cost of postage here in the US. Anyone who has traveled outside the US knows how expensive other countries can be. Two or three years ago it cost us $1.65 to mail a post card from the Caribee back to..AAN

    • Oops As I was saying, it cos $1.65 to mail a postcard from one of the Caribbean Islands. It isn’t perfect, but it does have the honest, hardworking individuals who make sure your mail gets where it needs to go faster and cheaper than anywhere else.

      • Hi Patricia: I complain about the cost of postage–to my Dad. he retired from the Post Office, so it’s my way of making him feel loved. And I agree, the old cards had a touch of elegance and thought to them. Happy Holidays! Julie

      • My husband is soon to retire from the post office and my daughter also works there. I was a Peace Corps and

  7. What I absolutely love about this blog is all the fascinating information I get about things I wanted to know and about things I didn’t realize I wanted to know about. What an informative post today. I would love to read Christmas Wishes. Thank you for the opportunity.

    • Hi Deanne: Thank you for joining me. I agree–there is so much information and history to be learned. I need a double of me to keep up with it. Happy Holidays! Julie

  8. Enjoyed reading about how the Christmas cards were first started. Love that I can read the blog and not have to research myself. Thank you.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing the information on Christmas cards.Hallmark is a wonderful place to visit in Kansas City if ever you get the chance.

    So happy to add another new to e author to my list.

  10. Hello Fillies: Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. It is always a pleasure to visit with you. Merry Christmas to all of you. I wish you and your families a very blessed, joyous and safe Holiday Season. Julie

  11. I always send a few Christmas Cards but haven’t got to it yet. Christmas has slipped up on me this year and I am not close to being ready for it. I will have to get a few cards ready to send out tomorrow. Your book sound fantastic.

  12. Thank you for the Christmas card history information. I send Christmas cards every year. I still love to receive cards in the mail for all occasions. It makes me feel special that someone took the time, energy and expense to remember me.

    • Hi Laurie: I feel the same way when I receive a card. And I do like to send them. I just hate writing them. I find with more time spent typing on the computer, my handwriting stinks. I should have the hubby address the cards. His handwriting is so much neater than mine. Have a wonderful Christmas!

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