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Old 09-25-2012, 04:10 PM
KWasser KWasser is offline
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What are the various types of Christmas Cards?

I noticed the other day that my local Walmart just got in their Hallmark Christmas cards, which are divided up into boxed sets that appear to be grouped into different catagories. It struck me that there are many different "genres" to Christmas cards:

1. "Religious": Depicts Nativity scenes, from angels singing in the heavens to Joseph and Mary holding baby Jesus. Many of these contain passages from the Bible.

2. "Santa": A genre unto himself, these cards depict Santa climbing down chimneys or flying through the air with his reindeer and sled. Often done in the classic "Vintage Coca-Cola" style.

3. "Old Times": Depicts classic Americana scenes of Christmas: Kids riding a sled down a countryside hill, or a family bringing home a Christmas tree. If it looks like a Norman Rockwell painting straight out of 1950's, that's what I call "Old Times" Christmas.

4. "Victorian": Similar to the "Old Times" genre, but characters depicted look like they're from the 1880's, not the 1950's. Usually a more urban landscape is depicted, with bellringers on streetcorners and families singing hymns in town squares. "Scrooge" depictions fall into this as well.

5. "Tis the Season": these cards depict the scenery of the season: a depiction of a Christmas Tree decorated on Christmas Eve, an image of a Christmas wreath hanging on a door, or just an image of a quaint snowman dressed up in the yard.

6. "Licensed Classics": these cards depict scenes or characters from "A Charlie Brown Christmas" or "The Grinch who stole Christmas", etc. They bring back all the memories of those classic tales.

7. "Whimsical": these cards depict beloved Christmas characters in cartoonish escapades. Penguins engaging in snowball fights, elves trying to pack Santa's sled, these are lighthearted depictions, nothing mean spirited or crude.

8. "Decorative": Artistic cards that depict some aspect of the season, often done in an abstract manner. A drawing of an ornate snowflake, or an abstract drawing of a Christmas tree. Or just an artistic rendering of the words "Merry Christmas". These don't generate feelings of nostalgia for Christmas of years past, or religious sentiment, they're just pretty to look at.

9. "Winter": These cards tend to focus on nature and the weather of the season. Can sometimes be similar to "Old Times" cards, but the focus is less on what humans are doing, and more on what Mother Nature is doing. Depictions of snow falling into a valley with a peaceful town in it, a shot of couple of birds huddling for warmth underneath a snow covered branch, a shot of a ice covered river with a cottage nearby, with smoke coming from the chimney, etc.

Did I miss any?
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:13 PM
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Humorous? (Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer type)
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Old 09-26-2012, 05:39 AM
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Looks like you covered the different kinds. I do wish there was a "Christian" genre. It's all about the birth of Jesus
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by joyful View Post
Looks like you covered the different kinds. I do wish there was a "Christian" genre. It's all about the birth of Jesus
That's covered by category #1 in KWasser's post, I think. I see quite a few Christian cards out there when I do my card shopping---many have a Biblical quote inside in addition to the holiday greeting.
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Old 09-26-2012, 08:48 AM
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Originally Posted by HolidayLover View Post
Humorous? (Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer type)
Yeah, I thought about that when making my list: that kind of card is the dark and twisted kid brother to the "Whimsical" catagory I mentioned above. Stuff that's more mean spirited and "snarky" (for lack of a better word). Christmas cards that gripe about it being "that time of year" again, or that make a crude joke about Santa stuck in a chimney, those all fall into this catagory...

I would call this catagory "Humbug", but yeah, "Humorous" might work as well. Thing is, how many people actually send those types of cards? I don't see them very often.

Looks like you covered the different kinds. I do wish there was a "Christian" genre. It's all about the birth of Jesus
Yeah, I called it the "religious" genre, but I could also have called it the "Christian" genre. I think depending on how you look at it, this is the largest of the genres of Christmas cards.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by KWasser View Post

I would call this catagory "Humbug", but yeah, "Humorous" might work as well. Thing is, how many people actually send those types of cards? I don't see them very often.
I have an aunt who sends out humorous cards every year. I think at one time they were Far Side comics, but now they're just generic humor cards. To me they fit the personality of the sender, and that's what I think is important.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by KWasser View Post

Did I miss any?
I know it's not something you can pick up at your local Walmart, but if we're talking about the genres of cards people send, we have to include the "Pictures of Your Kids" genre.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:23 AM
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How about Personalised cards? The type you can personalise with your own photos, words etc....
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Old 09-26-2012, 10:07 AM
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I just finished designing my cards yesterday. They have photo booth style black & white pictures of me. & my family on the front, with a red background with Merry Christmas across the top, decorated with white snowflakes. Then, there's a greeting along with our names. On the back, I chose to put a poem by John Whittier. I spent a lot of time on them, I hope they turn out nice!
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Old 09-26-2012, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Festive Spirit View Post
How about Personalised cards? The type you can personalise with your own photos, words etc....
Yes, I suppose personalized cards (which includes "Photos of the Family" cards) are their own genre...I'm just used to the other types of cards, with a photo of the family tucked inside the card. But yes, there are many personalized family cards that can be done rather well. I'm sure Lacim84's cards look festive!
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