It is widely accepted that birthday cards originated in England more than a century ago. Unfortunately there is no evidence of who sent the very first card and nobody knows the identity of the person who received that very first card.
A persons birthday was considered a special event and they were greeted personally by their friends and family. The people who were unable to this in person sent a birthday card instead.During this time a card was considered more of an apology than as a greeting. It was only in more recent years that birthday cards have been regarded as expressions joy.
The significance of the birthday card is to convey hope and good will to the person receiving the birthday card. People now use birthday cards as a way to tell the special person of their true feelings that they may find a little difficult to express verbally.
Today there are many card styles to choose from, catering for almost every age range, gender and taste. Many people want the card to say how much they love them or to wish them good luck in the coming year.
Humor is another type of card and is typically sent by someone who likes to laugh a lot. Many of the humorous cards relate to a subject that the recipient finds funny and over the last few years many are now of a rude nature. A lot now relate to the age of the recent and make fun of them getting older.
When people first started sending birthday cards, they would never have imaged how far the cards would evolve or what the subject matter would diversify out to. The first birthday cards that were sent never mentioned or displayed the age of the recipient.
The birthday card now falls into the category of a greeting card. The greeting card can be traced all the way back to the ancient Chinese. They would send out goodwill wish cards during the New Year. The Chinese are not the only ones who thought to do this; in Europe in the 1400s, people also exchanged homemade greeting cards which in time became a tradition.
Today there are many different birthday cards to choose from. As well as the traditional birthday card, there are funny cards, modern cards, floral cards and a big trend towards cards relating to specific relatives. There is now also a big switch to handmade cards and lots of birthday card manufactures are now using recycled paper to make the cards.
A birthday card can be as special or as silly as you want it to be. The standard card size is 175mm x 125mm but card manufactures are now making extra large jumbo cards. There are no rules as to which type of cards you may send, though common sense should be used.
When sending a birthday card through the mail the card should arrive one day before or on the actual birthday of the one receiving the card. The advent of the modern postal system has helped swell the numbers of cards sent dramatically from the days that the card was delivered by horse and cart.
The manufacture of birthday cards has now gone full circle with China now becoming the largest manufacturer of birthday cards.
A birthday card now brings great joy to billions of people who receive them around the world. Little did the inventor of the birthday card all those years ago realize just how popular and everlasting the trend of sending birthday cards would become.
Andrew Gibson is MD of Greeting-Cards.com. It has thousands of free ecards to choose from for birthdays and all occasions. Many people now send free e-cards to celebrate birthdays and select them from thousands of free e-cards