With Christmas cards, it seems now as if anything goes, humour, jokes, off-piste scenes so why not go totally traditional this Christmas and send your friends and family a classic Christmas card. Retro designs are all the rage so take a look at some of the popular scenes from yesteryear.
- Snowy scenes – usually depicted as a street or a picturesque hamlet or village, pretty cottages and houses covered in snow with warm twinkling lights in the windows. These are designed to depict the classic white Christmas which is actually rarely seen in the UK unless you are in the far north so it is very much a stylised view of Christmas with home at the heart of the celebrations
- A warm fireside – developing that theme, cards which portray a cosy sitting room with a roaring log fire and beautiful decorations on the mantlepiece with a Christmas tree twinkling away in the corner, represent that the home is central to Christmas cheer. A lot of these images are a hangover from Victorian times when this type of representation was highly sentimentalised
- The Robin Redbreast – a winter bird so it’s easy to see why he is associated with Christmas although actually, the connection came from the Victorian postman who delivered the Christmas cards and who wore a bright red uniform and were thus nicknamed, ‘robins’. There are some who feel that this century of domination has been a little overdone and there is room now for some other birds to share the festive limelight
- Father Christmas – again often stylised, certainly very jolly with red cheeks and a fabulous white beard and always a little portly of figure. Most depictions range anywhere from the Victorian sentimental through to the 1950s retro look from the Coca Cola advertisements
- Holly in a garland – the traditional red and green of Christmas often with hanging gilded bells. Christmas is a Christian festival and the pointed leaves of the holly represent the crown of thorns that was placed on Jesus’ head before he died on the cross. The red berries depict the drops of blood. As the old carol goes, ‘deck the halls with boughs of holly’
Many of these images have endured for decades and just because an idea is traditional, doesn’t mean the card isn’t classic or you can’t put a slightly more contemporary twist on it. Use one or more of these iconic images to adorn your cards this Christmas. Oozing with nostalgia, they are designed to create a warm cosy glow around the season. Of course, you could also create a photocard based on the traditional family scene and just let the chaos take over as one American family did when their attempts to photo the perfect family Christmas all went awry. Traditional depictions are all well and good but we all know that the cherished happy family Christmas with a roaring log fire and snow gently falling outside, is not often quite how things pan out in reality.