Victorian Christmas Cards – Father Christmas


Penny Post – The "Penny Post" was first introduced in Britain in 1840 by Rowland Hill. The idea was simple, a penny stamp paid for the postage of a letter or card to anywhere in Britain. This simple idea paved the way for the sending of the first Christmas cards. Sir Henry Cole tested the water in 1843 by printing a thousand cards for sale in his art shop in London at one shilling each. The popularity of sending cards was helped along when in 1870 a halfpenny postage rate was introduced as a result of the efficiencies brought about by those new fangled railways.  


Father Christmas / Santa Claus – Normally associated with the bringer of the above gifts, is Father Christmas or Santa Claus. The two are in fact two entirely separate stories. Father Christmas was originally part of an old English midwinter festival, normally dressed in green, a sign of the returning spring. The stories of St. Nicholas (Sinter Klaas in Holland) came via Dutch settlers to America in the 17th Century. From the 1870’s Sinter Klass became known in Britain as Santa Claus and with him came his unique gift and toy distribution system – reindeer and sleigh.


Here are a few of the Victorian Santa cards.




My favorite is the last one here of the children on the locomotive with Santa at the wheel…looks like fun! 


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ray
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 12:08:47

    Very interesting Rhonda, I used to collect stamps as a kid so I knew about the penny post, a penny black stamp is worth a lot of money these days.Seem to remember that when I was in Germany, St Nicholas was celebrated on 5th or 6th of December would have to look that one up. Memories going…LOL (I might have got that wrong)The cards themselves look great, love the illustrations.Hugs, DD.


  2. Beth
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 14:10:03

    The cards are very beautiful!


  3. Windows Live
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 15:53:56

    Lovely piece my dear Rhonda, the victorian cards are fantastic, my fav is the 3rd pic, santa has a deer in the pic with him, reminds me of the many deer coming by to feed this year, sooooo much snow. Take care hon, Hugs to you, Bonnie


  4. Sheila
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 15:55:38

    I like the Victorian Santa much better than the typical pictures of him in a red suit and big boots.


  5. Angel eyes
    Dec 10, 2008 @ 18:43:06

    i love old fashioned christmas articles angel eyes


  6. Here I Am
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 00:51:00

    I so love the look of the Victorian Santa better then the new version…


  7. H
    Dec 11, 2008 @ 07:31:53

    OMG Rhonda, the cards are gorgeous. I love it that you have brought the era to us .. I loved the series you did a bit ago, was totally awesome, take care always, love H xo


  8. Lizzie-Beth4Him
    Dec 14, 2008 @ 18:31:34

    The Victorian Santa cards are awesome.


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