Sending Christmas cards is not really part of the francophone world, but it has been the practice in the anglophone world since the mid-19th century.
One of the most common motifs on Christmas cards was, and is, the European Robin and until recently, I didn't know why. I just assumed it was because it was a nice chirpy little bird, popular with gardeners because they can be quite confiding and tame. They have the added advantage of being quite brightly coloured, for a European bird, and of looking charming in seasonal scenes with snow and holly. Christmas card sellers have always had the bottom line in mind.
However it seems there is another seasonal and cultural association. Postmen in Britain used to wear red uniforms and were nicknamed 'Robins'. By the 1870s the deluge of Christmas cards in the system was causing business men to complain about the interference to 'legitimate correspondence' and the Post Office took to appealing to the public to 'post early for Christmas'. It didn't help much and right up until the early 1960s there was a postal delivery on Christmas Day.
If you want to post us a Christmas card from Australia or the UK today is your last opportunity to get it to us on time. Please don't be offended if you don't get one from us though, as we no longer send them - opting instead to send a New Year ' round robin' email (now where does that expression come from?)
Letters to Santa must be posted by 14 December.