The very first Xmas card was created by John Callcott Horsley who lived in London, England on May 1st 1843. The card itself featured a picture of a small family with a young child having a drink of wine together. The idea of a Christmas card was viewed as a controversial one at first, but it proved to be very lucrative for Horsley. He went on to produce and sell over 2000 cards in that first year, each card was sold for a shilling, (which was worth quite a lot in those days).
The very first Christmas cards tended not to show pictures depicting winter or religious scenes, most tended to favour pictures of flowers or fairies for example. Funny and sentimental cards with pictures of animals or extravagant shapes were also popular during the 19th century. As times changed, the designs and colours of Christmas cards evolved to meet the needs of the general public. For example cards that were produced during both world wars tended to be more patriotic in order to boost morale.
Modern day Xmas cards can be purchased both individually and also in packs. During the very recent internet boom it has become increasingly popular to order online personalised Christmas cards from various companies such as moonpig for example. This is probable due to the relatively cheap price of the cards and the variety that this method provides. Christmas cards are still big business to this day and age, in 2008 in the UK over 600 million Christmas cards were sold during the festive period.