Christmas cards nation's favourite way of spreading festive cheer say 8 in 10 brits

Key points

  • New research from Royal Mail reveals that sending Christmas cards is still the nation’s favourite way of spreading festive cheer. Almost 8 in 10 UK adults (77%) who celebrate Christmas say that sending cards is their favourite way of sending season’s greetings to family and friends – compared to saying it in person (62%), by text (34%) or by social media message (38%).
  • And the difference is even more marked when it comes to receiving festive salutations. More than 6 in 10 (64%) people like to receive a Christmas card over any other form of festive communication, including social media (4%), text message (3%) or face to face (19%).
  • When asked why Christmas cards are so synonymous with the festive season, over half (53%) love displaying them in their homes, 45% look forward to reading the messages inside, and a further 45% enjoy the particular thrill of receiving something through the post.
  • Christmas cards are still popular amongst the younger generation, with just over half of 18-24 year olds (56%) expressing a preference for cards as a way of spreading festive cheer compared to any other channel, including text (38%) and WhatsApp message (24%).
  • With over 1 billion Christmas cards purchased last year, the Company has partnered with author Simon Garfield, who has penned a special poem ‘Post Early, Post Often’, giving a fun, fresh and modern take on one of the most treasured Christmas traditions. 
  • Respondents voted Christmas cards as one of the most important elements of the festive season (58%), more than turkey (42%), carol singing (31%) and even the annual Christmas shopping trip (46%).
  • The residents of Newcastle (91%), Birmingham (86%), and Leeds (86%) place the most value on Christmas cards in the UK.

The humble Christmas card is still very much at the heart of the festive season according to new research, an attitude which shows no sign of abating any time soon.

The study by Royal Mail sees almost 8 in 10 (77%) UK adults declare that giving Christmas cards is their preferred way of spreading festive cheer. This trumps festive well-wishes in person (62%) or by forms of digital communication (text = 34%, WhatsApp = 21% or Facebook message = 26%).

More than 6 in 10 (64%) people also prefer to receive a Christmas card from loved ones over any other form of festive greeting. By contrast, social media greetings scored fairly low on the scale (4%), as did text message (3%) and face-to-face well-wishes (19%).

When asked why they treasure Christmas cards so much, respondents mainly cited the simple pleasure of keeping them on display in their home (53%). A further 45% claim to love reading the messages inside, and an equal number enjoy the very particular thrill of receiving something through the post.

With over 1 billion Christmas cards purchased last year[1], Royal Mail has partnered with famed author Simon Garfield to pen a helpful, amusing and very modern poem celebrating this most treasured of festive traditions.

 

Post Early, Post Often: A Very Modern Guide to Christmas Cards

By Simon Garfield

Is there still something missing from their Christmas this year?

High above on diagonal string?

A small empty space on their mantelpiece

For a card that will make their heart sing?

 

I’m sure you’ve not really forgotten

How to buy, write or send a great card

But in the spirit of seasonal giving

Here’s some tips to show it’s not hard.

 

Find a card that fits the receiver

Either tasteful, outlandish or kitsch,

No harm choosing something with Santa and snow

But anything fun will bewitch.

 

The challenge is your message inside.

What to write that’s both touching and fun? 

Take your time – one of life’s great slow pleasures

In a world where it’s all run run run.

 

Regard it as love in an envelope

A round robin with super-proud news

Or maybe just say ‘I’m thinking of you

As another year draws to a close’.

 

Keep it simple, sincere and handwritten

Because texting is all well and good

But at this time of year a letter is better

And a card always boosts a friend’s mood.

 

How to make your effort jump out from the pile?

Maybe send something handmade this year

With cute and embarrassing photos perhaps,

A collage of all those you hold dear

 

Make it legible, personal, original and fresh

Your sole mission: a smile on their face

But best leave that glitter tube in the drawer,

Always ends up all over the place.

 

So post early, post often, from east coast to west,

Load your missives with all the chit chat

For there’s no sound as good or as hard to define

As your card dropping onto their mat

 

Some other fascinating facts unearthed by the research include:

  • Respondents voted Christmas cards as one of the most important aspects of the festive season (58%); more than the turkey (42%), carol singing (31%), and even the annual Christmas shopping trip (46%).
  • The younger generation (18-24) still favours Christmas cards, with over half (56%) preferring them as a way of spreading festive cheer over any other form of communication. This is compared to just 38% who opted for text message, and 24% via WhatsApp.
  • The residents of Newcastle (91%), Birmingham (86%) and Leeds (86%) place the most value on Christmas cards in the country of the cities surveyed.

Simon Garfield commented: “What else better sums up the joy of giving and receiving than a pack of Christmas cards, and as the research shows – people love and want to receive them over anything else.”

Mark Street, Head of Campaigns at Royal Mail commented: “Whilst social media is a great way of keeping in touch on a day-to-day basis, there’s something inherently festive and heart-warming about sending and receiving a physical card through the post, which someone has lovingly taken the time to write. Put simply, sometimes a letter or card is better.”

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, and Tuesday 18th December 2018.

 

Ends

 

[1] Figures from Greetings Card Association, Christmas 2017

Notes to Editors

 

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,071 adults, of which 1,873 celebrated Christmas. Fieldwork was undertaken between 20th - 21st November 2018.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

 

About Royal Mail plc

Royal Mail plc is the parent company of Royal Mail Group Limited, the leading provider of postal and delivery services in the UK and the UK’s designated universal postal service provider. UK Parcels, International and Letters (“UKPIL”) comprises the company’s UK and international parcels and letters delivery businesses operating under the “Royal Mail” and “Parcelforce Worldwide” brands. Through the Royal Mail Core Network, the company delivers a one-price-goes-anywhere service on a range of parcels and letters products. Royal Mail has the capability to deliver to more than 29 million addresses in the UK, six days a week (excluding UK public holidays). Parcelforce Worldwide operates a separate UK network which collects and delivers express parcels. Royal Mail also owns General Logistics Systems (GLS) which operates one of the largest ground-based, deferred parcel delivery networks in Europe.

Media contacts

 

Jessy Prestidge, Royal Mail Press Office

Email: jessy.prestidge@royalmail.com

Tel: 0207 449 8241

Mob: 0748 314 6427

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