The “Penny Post” was first introduced in Britain in 1840 by Rowland Hill. The idea was simple, a penny stamp paid for the postage of a letter or card to anywhere in Britain. This simple idea paved the way for the sending of the first Christmas cards. Sir Henry Cole tested the water in 1843 by printing a thousand cards for sale in his art shop in London at one shilling each. The popularity of sending cards was helped along when in 1870 a halfpenny postage rate was introduced as a result of the efficiencies brought about by those new fangled railways.
The Christmas Tree
The popularity of the Christmas tree throughout the Victorian era typically falls at the feet of Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert. Born and raised in Germany, Albert made the Christmas tree as important in England as it was in his country of birth, Germany. This began when he brought one to Windsor Castle in the 1840’s. This tradition is probably one of the most significant ones of modern day Christmas.