As not answering his stack of correspondence appeared impolite, the London socialite decided to speed up the task by enlisting his friend, artist J.C. Horsley, to design a festive card with a fill-in-the-blank salutation in 1843. The first-ever Christmas card soon inspired copycats, with holiday greetings taking off both in Britain and the United States by the end of the century.
The Greeting Card Association is an international trade organization representing the interests of greeting card and stationery manufacturers. John Beeder, former president of the Greeting Card Association, says greeting cards are effective tools to communicate important feelings to people you care about: "Anyone feels great when they receive an unexpected card in the mail. For me, there’s nothing like a greeting card to send a special message. I’m proud to be a part of an industry that not only keeps people connected, but uses both imagery and the power of words to help us express our emotions.”

Don’t limit yourself, though. Offer your good sentiments unsparingly (but prudently) with our free online greeting cards. We’re happy to prompt you with bon mots for every moment—and a few just-because cards for no moment in particular. Send a good luck card to wish a friend a sporting chance or a congratulations card if their victory outpaced you. For a recipient who’s more than a friend, letters of love are a perfect way to supplement your sweet nothings with romantic designs. (If you’re thinking about lust, we’ll defer to your better judgment on that.) We do hope you’ll have a chance to follow up with an anniversary card—you can schedule it in advance to avoid forgetting, but be sure to pick up a good gift, too.
If you’re in need of some inspiration and personalization tips, look through our collection of personalized photo cards and that should be a great place to start. From beautiful Christmas cards to thinking of you greetings, you’ve come to the right place if you’re in need of stationery. Shutterfly is not only about getting your special messages to loved ones, but also about doing so in a stylish manner that is simple for you. Visit our special offers page some savings on your favorite greeting cards.
If you’re celebrating a birthday boy, you’ll find cards with charming animal illustrations and adventurous forest landscapes perfect for the plucky lad in your life (and all his future derring-do). Those entering their quarter- or mid-life crises deserve a card featuring sharp suiting, refined cocktails, and other trappings of fashionable maturity—it’s not so bad, we swear. Toast or roast the distinguished older gentleman in your life with funny birthday cards for men that make light of all those extra candles on the cake. Dry wit from The New Yorker and Derek Blasberg keeps the comedy fit for an evening at the Cafe Carlyle. Gents of any age will appreciate a card that features frosted gateaus, cream cakes, and other edible birthday indulgences. If you’d prefer to focus on the memories, a photo birthday card with an elegant typographic design or border frame lets you send a particularly sweet portrait of your jolly good fellow as you remember him best.
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