Vintage Holiday Greetings

Did you know the first Christmas card produced in the United States was by Louis Prang, the owner of a print shop near Boston, in 1875?

The card was a painting of a flower, and it read “Merry Christmas.” The popularity and production of Christmas cards has grown considerably since that first one hit mail boxes almost 150 years ago.

“Appreciation of the quality and the artistry of the cards grew in the late 1800s, spurred in part by competitions organized by card publishers, with cash prizes offered for the best designs. People soon collected Christmas cards like they would butterflies or coins, and the new crop each season were reviewed in newspapers, like books or films today.” reference –

Below is a selection of holiday cards from the Norma Fretheim Collection at the Leelanau Historical Society Collection. You might notice that a few look similar to the description of that very first card.

Looking for Holiday Card Inspiration?

Look no further than the digitized Suttons Bay Courier newspapers!

Read the holiday greetings from regional businesses in the December 1938 , 1939, and 1941 issues.