Greeting cards started out as simple slips of papyrus, that were exchanged by both the Egyptians and Chinese as messages of goodwill. As the concept of greeting cards evolved, Europeans began to send them to one another for holidays such as Valentine’s Day – and this occurred as early as the 1400’s. Of course, these cards were handmade and expensive so not everyone could afford to send greeting cards for their holiday well-wishes.
Greeting cards really hit the mainstream in the 1850’s, when commercial printing as well as the invention of the postage stamp started to allow people all over the world to send greeting cards to their loved ones. Now, greeting cards are a billion dollar business, with people purchasing and sending cards for holidays including religious celebrations, birthdays, and even just as a simple thank you or gesture of love. The two largest greeting card companies, Hallmark and American Greetings, offer cards that are perfect for any occasion, with themes and illustrations that are great for all tastes.
Of course, you don’t need to buy your greeting cards in a store. Computers and home printers have made it easy to create and print out your own cards at home. Many people have also taken up paper crafts, and have taken to hand making their own greeting cards out of many different materials, with embellishments ranging from ribbons to beads. Some even go as far as to make their own paper, which is a time consuming process but definitely shows your recipient just how much you care. Hand painting and rubber stamping with ink can complete your homemade creation.