Christmas Cards in Numbers

Marianne Stenger
29th November 2016

Ever since the very first Christmas card was created over 170 years ago, the tradition of sending Christmas cards to loved ones has been upheld.

Initially, the rise of Christmas cards online led to a decline in traditional Christmas cards, and media outlets in the early 2000s began reporting that the Internet was killing off the old-fashioned paper Christmas card.

Fortunately, once the initial hype surrounding e-cards died down, it became clear that virtual greeting cards, no matter how cheap and convenient they might be, just can’t beat the sentimental feeling of receiving personalised Christmas cards that can be displayed throughout the home over the holidays.

Of course, the Internet has led to some advances in the way Christmas cards are sourced and created, and these days it couldn’t be easier to design your own Christmas card online and have it delivered right to your doorstep.

So, since the practice of sending Christmas cards is alive and well, just how many Christmas cards are sent out each year?

Billions of Christmas cards sent each year

On average, over two billion Christmas cards are sent in America each year around the festive season. In the UK, this figure is around 900 million, and it’s estimated that Britons send an average of 16 Christmas cards each.

Overall, Christmas cards make up 61% of all greeting card sales in the US and 45% in the UK. Other countries where Christmas cards remain popular include Australia, Germany and France.

Some of the preferred greetings for Christmas cards include Merry Christmas (53%), Happy Holidays (21%) and Season’s Greetings (12%). Snow scenes are apparently one of the most popular Christmas card designs (22%), followed by humorous images (14%), nativity scenes (7%) and Christmas trees or decorations (6%).

What’s the future of Christmas cards?

We live in a fast-paced, tech-driven world where the majority of our communication happens through social media and instant messaging, so these days, receiving a Christmas card with a handwritten message just feels that much more special.

With this in mind, it seems unlikely that sending traditional Christmas cards through the post will be completely phased out any time soon.

One survey conducted by Royal Mail found that 75% of Britons would rather receive a traditional Christmas card than an e-greeting or social media message, and most also said they’d be appreciative of the effort the sender went to and would feel that someone really cared.

As for how many Christmas cards Britons plan to send out, 68% said they would be sending the same number of cards as they did last year and 10% even said they planned to send more cards than the previous year.

If all this talk of Christmas has got you feeling festive, be sure to check out the professional-quality photo books, cards and wall art available through Bob Books and create something memorable for your friends and family this year. 

Looking for some advice and inspiration before you get started on your own Christmas photo cards? You might want to try some of these creative ideas to make your Christmas cards stand out, or check out our top tips for a successful family photo shoot.