What Is a Christmas Card Holder?
If your family is like mine, you get a ton of Christmas cards and family photos during the holiday season. Taking a family photo and sending out a Christmas card is a big part of the Christmas tradition and if my mailbox during the month of December is any indication, Americans are still sending out plenty of Christmas cheer in the form of cards and photos.
A Christmas card holder is exactly what it sounds like–a piece of home decor designed to hold and display Christmas cards and the cheerful holiday photographs they tend to contain. The month of November is the best time to buy a Christmas card holder for the coming holiday season. Stores are stocking Christmas supplies, and many of them are starting off the Christmas season with sales. There are infinitely more styles, colors, and varieties of holiday card holders to choose from just before Christmas.
The History of Christmas Card Holders
Once upon a time, Christmas card holders were all homemade. People built their own card holding device to display their Christmas cards. I remember my great-grandmother hanging twine over her fireplace and hanging Christmas cards from it with paper clips painted red and green. I’m sure hers wasn’t the only house in the neighborhood with some sort of homemade card display.
In the 50s, as America prospered and the meaning of Christmas became “buy buy buy”, retailers realized that they could make money selling all things Christmas. The first Christmas card holders were delivered to homes in kits for home decoration and setup. Eventually, Christmas card holders already assembled and decorated became available, and it is now extremely common to find a Christmas card holder in any American home you peek into.
The fun of these card holders is that displaying your cards makes the arrival of each card an event. As each card comes in, you can pick where to display it, and add it to your collection in full view of anyone who enters your home.
Since lots of families send photos with their cards, holiday photo holders are also great ways to show off nieces, nephews, grandchildren, and pets.
What Do Christmas Card Holders Look Like?
The best thing about Christmas card holders is the variety of styles. Your holder could be small–able to display just a few precious family Christmas cards, or it may be built to hold and display dozens of cards at once. They can be stand-alone contraptions made of wire and reaching five or six feet of height, or they could be little more than decorated baskets to hold greeting cards.
You’re likely to see lots of “table topper” holders, many in the shape of “trees”, each branch of which can hold one or two cards at a time. They’re often decorated in Christmas colors or with holiday decorations. Becoming more common are the wall-mounted card holders, with the idea being that after the holidays you can use it to hold grocery lists, reminders, or anything you need quick access to.
Though you still see plenty of Christmas card holders and Christmas stationary for sale, it seems like people don’t quite send cards and letters as often as they used to. Then again, the popularity of image-altering software like Photoshop and the personalization afforded people by their computers, holiday cards have gotten a lot more personal and a lot more time consuming. When someone sends you a card these days, you know they’ve spent a lot of effort on it. Why not display these special greetings for the world to see?
How Much Do Christmas Card Holders Cost?
Here’s two examples currently on sale at Amazon–a 5-foot wire Christmas Photo and Card Holder for $49.99 and (at the other end of the spectrum) Hallmark’s Christmas Card Holder in the shape of a Christmas tree that retails for $14.95. This last item is not just available at Amazon–you’ll find it at different retail settings this season, like Wal-Mart and CVS stores.
you can spend anywhere from a few bucks to well into the hundreds of dollars depending on the size and complexity of the Christmas card holder that you’re after. Lots of people just want a place to store their Christmas cards, not necessarily a display. These often take the form of an “inbox” or special “mailbox” kept in the home. If the point is to store or perhaps display your Christmas cards (rather than bury them at the bottom of the junk drawer) it doesn’t really matter what style you buy.