New Royal Mail research reveals the who, what, how and why of the UK’s Christmas card sending habits.
The 1st and 10th December are the two days of the year when Britons are most likely to send out their annual list, however almost 1 in 10 (7%) do this as early as mid to late November.
Plymouth residents are most likely to keep their cards on display the longest (on average up to a month).
Edinburgh sends the most Christmas cards in the country (on average 18) and Manchester the least (11).
Bristolians are the nation’s posting early birds starting as early as October, and Belfast generally leave it the latest, starting at mid-November.
Londoners (7%) are more likely to send a Christmas card to an ex-partner. Those in the South West (11%) are most likely to send a card to their hairdresser.
The average UK adult sends 18 Christmas cards. Almost 1 in 10 people (9%) send between 46-100, and a further 1% claim to send more than 100 cards.
‘Festive’ cards are the nation’s favourite type of seasonal missive (61%). Our favourite Christmas card covers are as follows:
UK’s favourite Christmas card covers
- Snow scene (59%)
- Robins (55%)
- Reindeer (53%)
- Snowmen (53%)
- Father Christmas (52%)
- Snowflakes (51%)
- Nativity scenes (45%)
- Holly (41%)
- Christmas decorations (41%)
- Angels (39%)
Close friends (59%), neighbours (51%) and parents (mum and dad) (49%) are the most common recipients on a Briton’s Christmas card list; however some more surprising additions include the local postman or woman (4%), ex-partners (3%) and even the local dustbin man or woman (2%).
Additionally, almost 1 in 10 (9%) people send a card to their pet, or to the pet of a friend or family member.
Some other fascinating facts unearthed by the research include:
- On average, 30% of UK keeps their Christmas cards on display for 2-3 weeks, but 3% claim to keep them on their mantelpiece for more than six months.
- Most people purchase their Christmas cards from a shop (41%), however charity shops are also a popular source (34%). 5% of people hand make their cards, and only 2% expressed a preference for buying them online.
- Almost 1 in 6 people (14%) include an ‘update newsletter’ from their family in their annual Christmas cards. Almost 1 in 10 (8%) include a family photograph, and 10% pop in either a paw print from their pet, or a ‘crayon signature’ from their children.
Mark Street, Head of Campaigns at Royal Mail commented: “Christmas cards are one of the defining items of the British festive season, and clearly hold a lot of emotional resonance. It’s fascinating to see modern card sending habits broken down in this much detail.”
Festive wordsmiths are reminded to post their letters and cards with enough time to spare for Christmas. The last posting date for 1st Class stamps is Thursday 20th December 2018, and Tuesday 18th December for 2nd Class.