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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday December 11, 2017

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Annapaula Freire de Oliveira

Annapaula Freire de Oliveira

Former Community Editor , Europeana Foundation

#MakeItFestive: Greeting cards

main image
Christmas card design.
Napper, Harry.
20th century.
Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, Middlesex University.

This is the last blog in a series dedicated to end-of-the-year festivities and highlighting Europeana content that can inspire festive creative reuse by makers.

There is no better way of expressing love and other good feelings than a thoughtfully written message. A timeless practice, sending holiday cards is a caring way to wish a Happy New Year to family and friends.

In their designs, these joyful cards usually highlight end-of-the-year traditions, objects and figures, as well as winter elements. Below, we present you with beautiful images to inspire personalised messages of good fortune and best wishes. We hope makers will feel encouraged to put their creativity into action and remix digital cultural heritage in new designs, businesses or services.

Greet your loved ones and spread the holiday spirit by using exciting open content from Europeana Collections!

Winter Wonderland

Snowmen, reindeers, Santa Claus and cozy nights at home. The cold weather of the season (at least in the North Hemisphere of the world) is a recurrent theme in greeting cards. Check out our dedicated gallery and Pinterest board for scenes in paintings, photographs, drawings and more of how people celebrate and enjoy life when the weather gets colder.

If you are fond of snow, take a look at the two distinct scenes below: a group of kids playing with snowballs and a woman walking in the snow. They convey two different sensations evoked by the cold weather: playfulness and solitude.

5 toverlantaarnplaatjes (...). Deventer Musea.CC BY-SA.

Het Zojo heiligdom in Shiba (...). Hasui, Kawase Watanabe Shôzaburô. Rijksmuseum. Public Domain.

Christmas mornings are a special time for the exchange of gifts among families. Take a look at a tender scene below: children and their gifts in front of a fireplace in a Christmas morning.

Christmas morning American Stereoscopic Company. Desconegut. Ajuntament de Girona. Public Domain.

See also how fascinated kids can get by Christmas trees in his great 1903 photograph of a Christmas party, by the Salvation Army.

Frelsesarmeens juletrefest. Anders Beer Wilse. Oslo Museum. CC BY-SA

Angels are also a traditional figure of this time of the year. Get heavenly vibes with the postcard below, dating from the early 20th century.

Pohlednice vánoční. Wenig Josef. 19th century. Uměleckoprůmyslové museum v Praze. CC BY

Lastly, a design for a Christmas card, probably by Harry Napper for the Silver Studio in 1901. It features a central boat with sails surrounded by Art Nouveau style waves of flowers and leaves, in black and white.

Christmas card design. Napper, Harry. 20th century. Museum of Domestic Design & Architecture, Middlesex University. CC BY

We want to learn from makers and promote case studies of how they are reusing our content. If you #MakeWithEuropeana, take advantage of the promotional support we can offer and get in touch! Email us or tweet to us using @EuropeanaLabs and the hashtags #MakeWithEuropeana and #EuropeanaInspires. Stay up to date with future opportunities by signing up to the Europeana Labs newsletter!