The first Christmas card was designed by John Callcott Horsley and commissioned by Sir Henry Cole, a civil servant and inventor, in 1843.

(It featured a design showing three generations of a family raising a toast to the recipient, and cost 1 shilling (that’s 10p in new money). The average price of a Christmas card in the UK now (in 2005) is 71p, which might sound expensive in comparison, but it’s actually much cheaper. A shilling could have bought you a meal back in the 1800s, so its buying power today is probably around £10.)