The Art of the Holiday Card

‘Tis the season for holiday hoopla… twinkling lights, gifts adorned with bows, bearded mall Santas, and of course, mailboxes stuffed with holiday cards.

The holiday card has been a tradition for as long as many of us can remember. It originated from a custom of giving handcrafted messages to celebrate the holidays — even the ancient Egyptians sent each other messages of good cheer. But it wasn’t until 1834 that the first commercial holiday card was produced in London. It featured holiday festivities in full swig swing, which may be one of the reasons it became such a hit.

The First Christmas Card

This time of year we send cards for just about everything… Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and even made up holidays like Festivus (for the rest of us!) and Chrismukkah (Christmas + Hanukkah).

Christmas CatOur holiday cards come in all shapes and sizes. They’ve evolved too. We’ve got e-cards, scrapbook cards, photo cards, viral videos, cards with year-in-review letters, family photos, pictures of our children and even our pets. And with these endless combinations comes the possibility for our cards to enter history’s holiday hall of fame, or… well, you know the other option.

And as is with tradition, ASO sends out holiday cards too. For the last few years, they’ve been virtual, like the interactive game, “What’s the holiday?” If you’ve ever wanted an excuse to celebrate a random Tuesday, there’s a holiday for it. There’s even a Dress Up Your Pet Day, but some don’t need a special day for that.

At ASO, this year was time for a holiday card revamp, something to capture the spirit of the season in a tangible glory.

Enter the ASO Holiday ViewMaster. A slice of nostalgia served with a scoop of twisted holiday fun – in 3D.

ASO ViewMaster

And no holiday card would be complete without a cast of holiday regulars – Santa, Rudolph, Tiny Tim, Frosty and the Partridge in a Pear Tree – beautifully illustrated by Bill Mayer. Peer through the eyehole thingies into a world where the holidays have turned out a bit… different.

ASO ViewMaster Reel

Click on one of the thumbnails to enlarge.

Whether you buy them, make them, reinvent them, or put embarrassing photos of yourself in them, is there really any better way to share the spirit of the season?

We think not.

Here’s to the holiday card. May your mailbox runneth over, and May the holidays bring you and yours together.

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