Self-made cards with goodwill verses have been sent by hand or by post, for centuries. The first that’s recognizable as what we now think of as a Christmas card, i.e. a printed card sent by post, was sent at Christmas 1843.
Sir Henry Cole, the founder of the London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, had sent many handwritten cards previously but that year he commissioned John Calcott Horsley to paint a card showing the feeding and clothing of the poor.
Printed on the first Christmas card was:
“A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You”