Social Animal’s 2008 holiday card depicts a lad opening his Christmas present, which happens to be a BB gun. I don’t think that the card is very controversial but if someone were to interpret it as fostering the moral corruption of children, we’d be playing out a story as old as holiday cards themselves…
The first commercial Christmas card was designed and printed in London in 1843, at the suggestion of British businessman, Sir Henry Cole and featured an illustration of John Callcott Horsley (1817-1903), a well known British painter and member of the Royal Academy. At that time Henry Cole had to send hundreds of Christmas messages, which he thought would take a lot of time and then came up with the idea of Christmas cards. He commissioned the card because pressure of business had prevented him from writing to all his friends at Christmas, as was his usual custom.
- In the centre, the card depicted three generations of a family in a party, raising a toast to the recipient of the card .
- to one side the hungry receiving food;
- to the other side the poor being clothed.
The card drew criticism because showing a child enjoying a sip of wine was considered “fostering the moral corruption of children.” But with most people the idea was a great success and the Christmas card quickly became very popular.