Are Traditional Christmas Cards Becoming Obsolete?

Welcome to the digital age. You’ve probably heard this commonly-used term for the era in which we currently live. The advent of new technologies, primarily social media, is putting paid to many old traditions (such as sending paper party invitations in the post). But what about Christmas cards? Are they a thing of the past?

In England, we’ve been sending Christmas cards to our friends, family, colleagues and clients since Victorian times. The first mass-produced Christmas cards were sold in 1843, and the trend quickly caught on. Since then, our postal system has helped billions of festive greetings reach their eager recipients – and, perhaps surprisingly, there’s no sign that this is changing.

It’s true that some people have made the switch to digital e-cards (or simply sending Christmas wishes via text or Facebook message). But physical, paper Christmas cards are still a staple of the Christmas period.

Do People Still Send Christmas Cards?

In 2020, we do almost everything on our computers, tablets and smartphones. In fact it’s hard to think of much that’s still done on paper (side from arts and crafts, perhaps).

We don’t send letters anymore, but emails. We no longer have address books, but digital contact lists instead. If we want to get in touch with someone, we Facetime them, text them, or tag them on Facebook. We fill out forms online, instead of on paper; we have apps for shopping lists, notes, and to-do lists.

It may seem inevitable that paper Christmas cards might be the next thing to go. Who’d opt to purchase, write and post a card, when it’s so easy to just send a quick text instead?

As it turns out, most of us would. Millennials are actually sending more Christmas cards than anyone else. Research suggests that people in the 18 to 34 age group are sending more greetings cards in general than the previous generation did at their age.

The Greeting Card Association reported that in 2017, over one billion Christmas cards were sold in the U.K. We send more Christmas cards per person than any other country on Earth!

So, fear not Christmas cards are far from becoming obsolete. If anything, because so much is now done via the internet, having a physical card to open at Christmas time is more valuable than ever.

Why Should I Send Christmas Cards?

There are plenty of great reasons why you should send physical Christmas cards to your friends, family, co-workers and professional clients, rather than digital messages. This year in particular, it’s so important that we stay in touch with the people that we care about, as it’s been harder than usual over the past several months.

Here are four great reasons why you should opt to send paper Christmas cards rather than digital ones.

People Want Christmas Cards

The most important reason to send Christmas cards is simply because, well, people want them. A survey by Royal Mail revealed that 72% of people, that’s almost three quarters, would prefer to receive a real, physical Christmas card rather than a digital message.

Only 10% of people would prefer a text message over a Christmas card and a tiny 6% would rather have a greeting sent through social media, such as Facebook or Instagram. People certainly appreciate when a loved one goes to the effort of sending a real card and it makes them feel that the sender really cares.

This research seems to show that although social media is ubiquitous in our lives, it’s not good for every purpose, and it can’t replace all of our traditions. There is still a place for real, paper cards that have been written out with a thoughtful message.

They’re More Meaningful

A Christmas cards is tactile – something you can physically hold and touch – they’re so much more meaningful than a message on the screen. You can keep a Christmas card for years, and look back fondly on festive seasons past. Although you can certainly keep a text message, it’s no match for seeing your loved one’s handwriting there on the page.

Christmas cards also feel much more personal than a text or e-mail. You know that whoever has sent you this card has taken the time out of their day to select the card for you, write it out, buy a stamp and post it.

During the pandemic, sending Christmas cards is also a wonderful way of keeping in touch with everyone that you may not have been able to see for a long time. This doesn’t just apply to friends and family, but also to co-workers and professional clients that you’d like to maintain a relationship with.

Support Royal Mail

Royal Mail was founded over five hundred years ago, in 1516. Since it was made available for public use in 1635, it has been keeping our country running – not only by delivering our important letters, documents, cards and parcels, but also through providing jobs.

Currently, Royal Mail employs over 162,000 postal workers, and many more in various other roles such as management. Aside from Royal Mail itself, the Post Office also employs thousands of workers, as do other independent delivery companies. By sending physical Christmas cards rather than digital messages, you’re helping people to keep their jobs and supporting our economy – especially if you buy your cards from a U.K. based business such as Christmas Connections.

Raise Money for Good Causes

According to the Greeting Card Association, an average of £50 million is raised for charity each year through the sale of Christmas cards. If you’re going to buy cards for your loved ones anyway, why wouldn’t you choose a charity card and give some of your money to a good cause? It’s a simple and easy way to make a difference for those less fortunate this festive season.

You can purchase charity Christmas cards in most good card shops – but you won’t get much of a choice of which charity your money is going to. Order through Christmas Connections and you’ll be able to choose from a huge list of U.K. registered charities to support with your purchase. Some examples of charities we work with include Alzheimer’s Society, British Heart Foundation, Save the Children, and Cancer Research.

Where Should I Buy My Christmas Cards?

It’s true that not everyone chooses to send physical Christmas cards to their loved ones. There are many reasons why certain individuals prefer to send greetings through social media (or a telephone call) instead. They often cite reasons such as:

  • Leading a busy life, and not wanting to spend time choosing, buying, writing and sending cards
  • The cost of postage (envelopes and stamps), on top of the cards themselves

Fortunately, most of these problems are easily resolved. While you may have a busy lifestyle, you don’t always have to go out shopping for Christmas cards. Through a dedicated online retailer like Christmas Connections, you can choose from hundreds of card designs and have them shipped to your door – all from the comfort of your living room. You can even personalise the inside of your card, saving you having to write a message yourself.

And while you will need stamps if you’d like to send cards through the post, the affordable price of our cards certainly offsets some of that cost. Designs start from just 73p per card, and all of our cards are supplied with envelopes, too.

The vast majority of our Christmas cards can also be recycled. Simply choose a card with a gloss finish (rather than glitter or foil) and you can recycle it in any household cardboard recycling bin.


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