- John Callcott Horsley
The Bible Society, a U.K. charity organization seeking to spread the Gospel and engage people with the Scripture, has said that Christmas cards are becoming noticeably less religious in recent times – and is offering its own alternative for people of faith.
"We are hearing from our 300,000 supporters and more widely, that it's quite hard to find cards which tell the story of Christmas, and people want more choice," said Richard Franklin of the Bible Society.
"I know in some charity shops you can often find a lot of these types of cards which is great and we welcome that, but we certainly thought there was a gap in the market."
In response, the charity organization is launching its own specialized Christmas cards that tell the story of Christ's birth through the Nativity Scene – which Franklin says are already proving to be quite popular.
"It is a small site and we had a maximum order of 40 cards but we've had to up that because one organization asked us for 2,000," Franklin added. "We didn't expect that huge demand but I think there is definitely some demand there and there are people who would buy nativity cards but make do with Santa or fluffy rabbits."
He said that besides the imagery, the cards also carry an important message for people – if Christmas presents are about receiving, the story of Christ's birth is about giving.
"If you take a card covered in Christmas presents, what is that actually about? People giving us something. But we are saying the Bible tells us a whole lot more about that story of giving, forgiveness, love and hope at Christmas, and that is behind that message, but is it really coming out?" Franklin continued.
"Our cards predominantly have a religious theme but there are some that don't, whereas if you walk in to a shop or go on to an Internet site, you are confronted with lots that aren't and you are left asking where are the religious ones."
He noted that there are various designs available for the cards, and orders have a turnaround time of 48 hours.
A recent update on the charity's website states that there has been a "fantastic early reception" and that it will be adding additional bundles of 100-2000 cards by the end of the week in response to what the Bible Society says is an "unprecedented demand."