The Post of Christmas Past
We have been celebrating Christmas through the post for over 160 years.
From postmen under the mistletoe to the world's first Christmas card, our collections reveal the powerful link between Christmas and the postal service. After all, can YOU imagine a Christmas without something from the postman?
Did you know…?
- The world's first Christmas card was sent in 1843 – the same year that Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol;
- In 1843, 1000 Christmas cards were made. In 2005, 744 million Christmas cards were delivered by Royal Mail;
- On early cards Father Christmas was dressed in green, as he was seen more as the spirit of winter;
- Until 1878, Valentine's cards were more popular than Christmas cards. Three years later in 1881, we were first advised to 'Post early for Christmas', to help the Post Office handle the deluge of mail;
- Over 17 thousand million Christmas stamps have been printed in Britain since the first ones (designed by children) in 1966;
- Post was last delivered on Christmas Day in England in 1960 (Scotland 1966).