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  • Writer's pictureRusty Pencil

Funny and rude Christmas cards online - not the usual crap ones

Updated: Jan 20

Rude Christmas card cartoon. Black and white illustration of a 1950's man sitting in a chair smoking a pipe.

We Brits don’t do things by halves when it comes to Christmas.

When you suffer eleven and a half months of sheer drudgery and the prospect of being blown up by a wonky autocrat at any moment, you’re bound to let your hair down and let your trouser belt out.

A long way out, in fact, going by these Christmas stats.

Over Christmas, we will chomp our way through:

· 10 million turkeys

· 250 million roast potatoes

· 25 million Christmas puddings

· 175 million mince pies. (Apparently, we eat about 780,000,000 in a year. Yes, really. That’s not a minceprint.)

· 750 million brussels sprouts

· 208 million boxes of chocolates

· One lettuce

Our appetite for overdoing things also extends to Christmas cards.

We British lovelies send more Christmas cards per person than any other country.

The GCA (Greeting Card Association) says that in 2020, we sent about 80 million individual ‘single’ cards. That’s about 162 million pounds worth.

If you include Christmas packs and boxed cards, the total hits 1 billion cards which equates to about £1.4 billion.

Yep, we certainly love sending a Christmas card or two.

Last year’s Royal Mail Group survey highlighted the Covid-19 situation was key to solid sales.

Will it be the same again this year?

Most probably.

The greeting card market is incredibly resilient during a recession and always has been. I suppose in times of uncertainty, there’s comfort in the certainty of sending and receiving a Christmas card, albeit, a clichéd one.

My chums will get something funny and maybe rude, though all the ‘Hoe Hoe Hoe’ and ‘Fancy a Stuffing’ jokes will be shoved aside like leftover brussels sprouts.

While the likes of my aunties and uncles will get the traditional snowman or the obligatory robin. But why a robin?

Why is there a robin on my Christmas card? FFS.

You can perhaps blame the Victorians for that. The idea that postmen of that time wore red coats and so were nicknamed ‘robins’ or ‘robin redbreasts’ is open to debate. Some say it was the Bow Street Runners, who were the forerunners of the police force.

Card artists would often put a cheeky little postie on Christmas cards. But over time they began to drop the posties and add the robin, along with accompanying Christmas snow.

And so the association of the robin and Christmas was born. Supposedly.

Whatever the explanation, everyone seemed to be colour-blind.

‘But they’re not red, they’re orange,’ you say. Well spotted.

You can also blame the English language for naming our little feathered friend ‘redbreast’ instead of ‘orangebreast’.

A robin redbreast on a Christmas card
Poor old robin redbreast. Stuck in a crap Christmas card

Even though the orange as the fruit had been in England since the 1300s, no one had thought about it using the name for the colour.

It wasn’t until the 16th century that some bright spark at a dinner table said ‘Pass me that orange thing’, that people used it to describe the colour.

But by then everything that was orange, was permanently called red: red kite, red deer, red-heads, red squirrel.

And thus, robin redbreast also stuck.

This history lesson on why a robin is on our Christmas cards doesn’t explain why we have an abundance of predictable designs.

Is it because of sheer laziness? Lack of talent? Or simply knowing the market? Perhaps all of these.

But where are all the original funny and rude Christmas cards online?

Good question.

With an estimated 1000 greeting card publishers in the UK offering thousands of designs, the Christmas card Google pot is massive and overwhelming.

To make our online search even more exasperating, the first few pages of Google are regularly filled with those paid-for ads from the usual companies offering the usual cards: same old jokes, same old clichés.

Funny bar chart highlighting the poor quality of Christmas card designs

It’s all very predictable. Quite frankly, it irritates me, and many others, by all accounts.

These very same companies flood your local supermarkets and many gift shops with the same designs.

Is it any wonder people get tired of seeing the same old cards? And moan like hell about it?

Yet there are so many other cards beyond this big grey cloud of triteness that are more original and funnier.

‘Is there a handy directory of such cards?’ you ask.

Sadly, there isn’t one.

You could - if you could be arsed - go to the very useful Greeting Card Association’s directory and have a browse yourself. You’ll find good old Rusty Pencil on there touting its wares along with hundreds of other members.

But life’s too short, so I thought I’d pick a handful of the ones that I like. Maybe you might like them too.

Original and funny cards -

my selection

Apart from my own original and hilarious cards (well, it is my blog), there are so many other original and funny publishers out there under the radar.

The following publishers I’ve met at trade shows, workshops or card thingy piss-up events.

They’re to my own taste so you might find them a bit Marmite. They’re all available online.

Rude Christmas card about a nutcracker. Pen and ink colour illustration of two soldiers.

First up is Bewilderbeest. This publisher is illustrator Iain who worked on the family farm. Thankfully, he gave up battling cabbage root fly and chasing disgruntled chickens and turned his hand to pen and ink.

He’s adept at drawing animals which comes as no surprise. His charming cards are classic fun puns with the occasional contemporary twist.

Funny Christmas card of a grumpy cat in a Christmas hat. Colour illustration.

Jo Clark is an illustrator, animal lover and jolly nice person. Her illustrations are simple, clean and witty; sometimes silly punny, and sometimes funny punny.

I particularly like her Cats in Hats range. She also does lovely active wear adorned with cat images for girls who like yoga, pilates and jumping about a lot pretending to be fit.

Poet & Painter have a wide range of designs from bold and graphic to a simple play on words.

The loose pen and ink style lends itself to the playful and wittily penned words, some of which are written by a proper poet and writer like what I am.

Rude Christmas card of a children's drawing. Colour illustration.

Objectables own a gift shop in sunny Folkestone, Kent. In their spare time, while they’re not pissing about in their shop making paper planes and writing silly messages on their A-boards, they’re designing funny cards.

Some are completely off-the-wall, some are silly, some are daft, none are predictable.

Funny brussels sprouts Christmas card

Kiss Me Kwik is based in sunny Brighton. Who doesn’t love a brussels sprout that spouts a spot of humour? One of a range of cheeky cards from this ever-perennial card publisher.

I thought I’d also throw in this extra card simply because it sums up gluttony perfectly and makes me laugh. We all know a kid like that, don’t we?

Rude card with a young girl eating cake

Very rude Christmas card about a family playing the Christmas game charades. One word - bollocks. Colour illustration.

Finally, Modern Toss. I’ve never met them but it’s a popular, yet very niche, publisher and is easily found online, but I thought I would slip this one in simply because I love it and sums up my feelings for Christmas.

These extremely rude cards are available online, though less likely to be found in your average high street shops as many churchgoers and grammar Nazis are likely to be easily offended. Bless them.

I hope you enjoy my selection. And try to go beyond the first page of Google whenever you do a search. I always go right to the last page. I have a lot of time on my hands.


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