Season’s Greetings: A Local Approach to Holiday Cards

With the holiday season on the horizon, it’s a big month for mail. From presents you’re shipping across the country to thank-you cards, get ready to buy a few stamps. While you’re at the post office, grab a few more to use on your holiday cards—locally made holiday cards, that is.

“Paper is human. It feels good, it smells good, and it’s warm and familiar,” says Eric Woods, owner of St. Louis’ The Firecracker Press. “As we move deeper into digital technologies that make things easier, we draw a sharper contrast with things that are made by human hands. New technologies also make it harder to find the time to sit down and write a personal note. We all know that, so when someone takes the time to choose a holiday card, write a personal message, put a postage stamp on the envelope and mail the card, that feels pretty special.”

With locations on Cherokee Street and in the Old North neighborhood (shared with its nonprofit, Central Print), The Firecracker Press is a letterpress print shop and design studio with a retail component. One of the types of items for sale? Greeting cards, including locally made and, occasionally themed, holiday offerings.

Woods explains these cards, along with the rest available at The Firecracker Press, are designed and printed via letterpress in the studio. After discussing and drawing ideas, the metal and wood types are set and images are carved into wood block—”the way Gutenberg did in the 1400s,” he says. “Everyone at The Firecracker Press is trained to understand all aspects of the printing process so the end result is a group effort that’s touched many human hands. The whole process can take a few weeks, sometimes several months. And we give all projects the same kind of attention, from posters, to business cards, to wedding invitations and packaging.”

Options by The Firecracker Press for the holiday season include single cards and sets. There’s the retro Santa and Mrs. Claus two-pack ($10) for those ringing in Christmas, or a blank winter cardinal scene ($5) for general holiday wishes. A Happy New Year card complete with Champagne and Baby New Year ($5) is also available.

“We do have several holiday card designs available on our website, but we always have more in our store,” says Woods. “You’ll find vintage Santa related cards and winter scenes; we have a new line of cardinal and Missouri bluebird cards, as well as humorous lifestyle cards for families and couples. We have several St. Louis-themed posters, cards, journals and notepads that make great gifts, including a series devoted to St. Louis landmarks.” Who wouldn’t want to spread a little St. Louis spirit with their holiday wishes?

Looking for a different style of card? Check out these other holiday options made in the Gateway City.

Cards by Benton Park Prints
$5 per card, discounted rates for multiple cards

Cards by TchotchShop
$3.50 per card

Cards by Nature’s Bounty Cards
$3.50 per card, discounted multi-packs available
10% of profits go to the St. Louis Area Foodbank

Cards by Mark Freidman and Big Small Town Designs available at STL-Style
$3.50-$4.95 per card
Available in store only