A Christmas card, also known as a holiday card in the United States, is a greeting card that is decorated in a manner that celebrates Christmas. Typical content ranges from truly Christian symbols such as Nativity scenes and the Star of Bethlehem to purely secular references, sometimes humorous, to seasonal weather or common Christmastime activities like shopping and partying. Christmas cards are exchanged during the Christmas season (around December 25) by many people (including non-Christians) in Western culture and in Asia.
Some Christian groups (such as Jehovah's Witnesses), however, disdain the celebration of holidays without explicit Biblical authorization, and so neither celebrate Christmas nor exchange Christmas cards.
The world's first Christmas card, made by John Callcott Horsley
The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in London, 1843, and featured an illustration by John Callcott Horsley. The picture, of a family with a small child drinking wine together, proved controversial, but the idea was shrewd: Cole had helped introduce the Penny Post three years earlier. A batch of 1000 cards was printed and sold for a shilling each.