Posts tagged Christmas Cards
My Paper People Series | Cheree Berry Paper Holiday Cards

Interested in vintage postage this season? You’ll need some beautiful holiday cards to mail first, and I’ve got just the place to find them!

Where to start with this incredible group of artists and creatives…

I had heard tales of Cheree Berry Paper a number of years ago, but it wasn’t until my best friend got married and worked with the Cheree Berry Paper team that I really came to understand the level of differentiated experience and product that brides, and by extension, holiday card purchasers, receive when working with and buying from Cheree and her talented team. Custom... High-end…. Unbelievably stunning... all projects are done with an eye for detail and beautiful design.

In short, this company provides all the answers to my bizarre and obsessive paper fantasies. 

For those who don’t know the backstory of Magnolia Postage, I got into the vintage stamp business after I decided that a fun wedding project would be to customize every single one of my wedding invitation envelopes with postage that spoke to my relationship with each guest, their location, their hobbies, etc. This involved spending an unconscionable amount of money on vintage stamps (no one was really doing the custom vintage postage thing yet), and being left with a HUGE collection of vintage postage.

 

… no really, I mailed 175+ envelopes that all had different stamps on them.

 

I relay this story because my goal as an obsessive bride was to do things here and there that I thought would truly floor or touch our guests in a different way. Paper, despite everyone’s argument that people would just throw it away, was a place that I thought I could differentiate the experience… and for the record, we got more positive feedback on the stamps and on our invitations than on just about any other thing we did (my uncle claimed that he was planning to frame the envelope).

But let’s get back to the point I’m trying to make:

 

Paper, in an age where people seem to be numb to the constant onslaught of information and email communication, is an incredible way to make a statement and to set your event or greeting apart.

 

Around the holidays, this applies just as much - there is nothing I love more than sending a beautiful card with an envelope covered in vintage stamps that makes people pause, take another look, and say “Wow! This is something that goes in the keepsake box”. Cheree Berry Paper does just that.

Cheree’s team has a stunning set of holiday cards and envelopes this season which can be customized with a family photo and holiday message, and many of which also have personal elements that can be modified to represent you and your family (monogrammed envelopes, illustrations, gold foil, etc.). Cheree Berry Paper’s cards are known for their interactive elements like die cuts and peek-a-boo windows (remember that keepsake box comment?....), AND to my great joy and excitement, they also have a number of statement envelopes which feature creative holiday touches on the envelopes themselves (those reindeer pulling a sleigh full of vintage stamps is pretty incredible). 

Cheree Berry Paper has a design and production department based in St. Louis, MO that lines all the envelopes, ties all the bows, and assembles each set of cards before shipping them out to you.

I love their website’s about section that sums the group up as “a team of creatives that approaches all aspects of the design process with enthusiasm, passion and meticulous care. Founded in 2007, primarily as a custom stationery company, CBP has since evolved to become an award-winning graphic design firm sought after for its playful, yet polished, sensibility. As visual storytellers, we create conceptual designs that are unexpected, clever and command attention. No matter the project, big or small, we love the creative challenge of identifying one visual solution just right for our clients.”

If you’re interested in purchasing vintage stamps for your holiday cards, you can shop our vintage holiday postage collection here, peruse our sample holiday postage gallery for inspiration, or you can submit a custom design request here.

You can learn more about Cheree Berry Paper here: https://chereeberrypaper.com/. All holiday cards in this post are linked to their counterpart on chereeberrypaper.com, but they can also be found here:

BOXED CARD SETS

  • Merry Mail Boxed Card Set – Interactive mailbox card. Put your holiday message on the postcard and pull it out to reveal your greeting.

  • Scallop Boxed Card Set – Gorgeous scallop envelope with room to place a personal holiday message inside.

PERSONALIZED HOLIDAY CARDS

You provide your family photo and holiday greeting, and then a designer hand typesets your message, performs slight retouching on your photo and delivers a digital proof before production.

Vintage Christmas Seals, what's the deal?

A few years ago when I was getting started in the vintage stamp business, I accidentally bought a large lot of Christmas Seals thinking that I was buying a large collection of Christmas stamps (oops). When the holiday seals arrived I found myself saying, “huh, that’s strange, why don’t these stamps say how much they are worth?…” which was when the realization set in that I hadn’t bought vintage Christmas stamps at all.

 
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Lesson learned: seals and stamps look very similar - but Christmas seals are definitely NOT postage stamps.

Are they vintage? Yes

Are many of them gorgeous and well designed? Most definitely

Can you use them? Yes

… just not on the front of your envelopes.

The first Christmas seals were created in Denmark in 1904 when a Danish postal clerk named Einar Holbøll was looking for a way to raise money to help sick children with tuberculosis. Throughout the 1600-1800s in Europe, TB caused 25% of all deaths. Similar numbers were reported in the United States [1]. Tuberculosis was a disease with a massive impact on populations and its impact on children was particularly cruel. Though TB rates have gone down over time, especially in the US where a total of 9,105 TB cases (a rate of 2.8 cases per 100,000 persons, or %0.0028) were reported in 2017 [2], TB is still one of the most common major infectious diseases in the world.

More than 4 million Christmas seals were sold in Denmark that first year, and the trend was subsequently picked up by other countries. Soon after Denmark issued the first Christmas seal, many other European countries followed suit with the majority of all TB seals issued around Christmas time. Many of the Christmas seals included the international symbol against TB, the double barred Cross of Lorraine (you will see that red symbol on most older Christmas Seals).

 
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Christmas seals were introduced to the US by Emily Bissell in 1907 when she was looking to raise funds to save a sanitarium in Delaware that was on the verge of needing to shut down. Bissell had heard of the success of Christmas Seals in Europe and she designed and printed special holiday seals to sell for a penny each at the post office.

By the end of her holiday campaign (and after an endorsement by President Roosevelt), she and a large group of committed volunteers had raised ten times the goal and the American Lung Association Christmas Seals® were born. The tradition continued and grew year after year through World War I, The Great Depression and World War II. [3]

As the American Lung Association’s mission expanded to include research into other respiratory diseases, such as lung cancer, more people began to send Christmas Seals®. As the American Lung Association stepped up to protect children and families from pollution and cigarette smoke in the 1960s, 70s and 80s, America continued its support each year by supporting the Christmas Seals tradition. [3]

In 1987 the American Lung Association acquired a US trademark for the term "Christmas Seals" to protect their right to be the sole US national fundraising Association to issue them, and Christmas Seals are still released annually to benefit the American Lung Association.

Today, there are nearly one hundred different lung associations worldwide that issue Christmas seals. Many different countries issue their own Christmas seals, as well as cities, states and territories. Additionally, many other organizations and charitable funds (e.g., religious organizations, civic and fraternal societies, patriotic organizations, sororities, etc.,) issue seals around the holidays, often designed to portray Christmas themes.  Since these seals are not issued to fight tuberculosis, they lack the double barred cross of Lorraine, the international symbol for the fight against tuberculosis.

 
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Vintage holiday seals are a fantastic way to not only dress up your holiday cards and support a good cause, but also to ensure that the back flap of your envelope stays closed. Christmas seals don’t need to be constrained to an envelope though, you can use Christmas seals to attach gift tags, hold gift wrap and ribbon in place on gifts, or just generally to dress up a greeting or note to someone who will appreciate the vintage touch.

We sell a number of vintage Christmas seals here


Sources:

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/tb/worldtbday/history.htm

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/tb/statistics/default.htm

[3] http://www.christmasseals.org/history/

Throughout: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_seal