These first Christmas cards were offensive, because the artwork showed a festive holiday scene with people consuming ALCOHOL!

While you’re trying to get your Christmas cards off to your aunt in Riverton, your brother in Rock Springs and your sister in Burns, you should know what started it all. It was 172 years ago today, in 1843, London merchant Sir Henry Cole realized he didn't have much time left to write Christmas letters to his friends, so he hired an artist and a printer to produce 300 identical Christmas greetings.

He thought the idea was so clever that he printed another 300 and sold them at his shop. However, many people thought THESE FIRST CHRISTMAS CARDS were offensive, because the artwork showed a festive holiday scene with people consuming ALCOHOL!  The cards were denounced as

"deliberately conceived to foster and promote the consumption of alcohol during the holiday season."

So it's true . . . Christmas IS just a Hallmark Holiday!