They don't make Christmas cards like this anymore!

This selection of Christmas cards from 1895-1902 include numerous photos covering various political themes of the day. They include photos of New Zealand troops getting ready and returning from the Boer War in South Africa. They also include scenes from New Zealand and numerous photos from the Pacific Islands, which New Zealand's Premier, R.J. Seddon was very interested in annexing at the time.

1895 and 1896

This 1895 Christmas card from R.J. Seddon features various scenes from around New Zealand. At this stage the Premier's Christmas card was relatively simple, but they tended to get more elaborate every year thereafter.

1897 - To 'my dear wife'

In 1897 Seddon attended Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. He also visited British Prime Minister W.E. Gladstone while in Britain.

1898 - To Mrs Seddon

Mrs Seddon may not have been particularly thrilled with this card. It features the Ministry (todays Cabinet) of 1898, whom she probably saw in person on a regular basis!

Famous for his self-promotion, Seddon would have liked posing with Sir Julius Vogel in a photo entitled "Leaders".

Sir Julius died in 1899.

1899 - With the Premier's compliments

The outbreak of the Boer War in South Africa dominated political proceedings in 1899. Premier Richard Seddon was eager to display New Zealand's commitment to the British Empire and offered to send troops even before the conflict broke out.

Many New Zealand men volunteered to serve as troops and those accepted were despatched to Wellington where a training camp was established in Karori. By the time of its departure the contingent comprised 204 men, led by Major Alf Robin. By the time of peace, two and a half years later, 6500 New Zealand men and 8000 horses had sailed for South Africa.

The photos on this Christmas card show New Zealand troops preparing in Karori before departing to Africa.

1900 - A very imperial Christmas card

The Christmas card for 1900 featured numerous photos from Seddon's Pacific Island visits plus photos from Pretoria where New Zealand troops were gathered to fight in the Boer War.

1901 - "Kia ora" Christmas greetings

The visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall, along with the Boer War were main features of the Christmas card for 1901. Among other things the Duke of Cornwall gave medals to New Zealand troops who had served in South Africa.

Mrs Seddon is the woman in the top right corner of the cover picture.

1902 - With compliments of the Prime Minister

As the front cover of the Christmas card states, 1902 was 'A Year of Industry crowned with Peace Prosperity.' The Boer War finished, and following the death of Queen Victoria Edward VII was crowned at Westminster Abbey. 'King Dick' also visited South Africa at General Kitchener's invitation and also attended the Imperial Conference.