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Itella research: Christmas cards are a way of cherishing and sharing the Christmas spirit

03.12.2014

Finns find Christmas cards to be an important tradition. According to Itella's research, 64% of consumers think that Christmas would not feel the same without traditional, paper Christmas cards. This Christmas, three out of four consumers intends to send cards by post. For most Finns, sending Christmas cards is a habit familiar from their childhood home. People often write all of their cards at once, which gets them into the Christmas spirit.

Each Finn to send an average of 16 Christmas cards

The majority (87%) of consumers intend to send Christmas greetings, either as paper cards or in electronic format. Most Finns send greetings in both formats. Women send more Christmas greetings than men. This Christmas, 92% of women are going to send Christmas greetings, while the corresponding rate for men is 82%.

The Christmas card is a special form of communication, because the card itself is an essential part of the message. Traditional paper cards are clearly more popular than greetings sent in electronic format. Nearly 3/4 consumers intend to send paper cards, and 2/3 will send electronic greetings.

One-third of the survey respondents reported that they sent more than 20 Christmas cards last year and intend to send as many cards this year, too. On average, each Finn will send an average of 16 Christmas cards this year. Electronic Christmas greetings are sent to 7 people, on average.

Reciprocity plays a clear role in sending and receiving Christmas cards. People send cards to those who send cards to them. Age is also a factor. The older people get and the wider their circle of friends becomes, the more Christmas cards they send and receive.

A paper Christmas card carries more emotion than an electronic greeting

A traditional Christmas greeting has an emotional impact on both senders and recipients. A paper card brings more joy than an electronic greeting in nearly all respondent groups. Further proof of the appreciation of Christmas cards is the fact that according to the survey, 64% of respondents report keep the received Christmas cards until the next Christmas.

In terms of card themes, recipients are most attracted to winter sceneries, atmospheric settings of Christmas trees and candles, as well as pictures of Santa Claus and his little helpers. Approximately one-third of recipients like religious Christmas card themes. Self-made Christmas cards are also valued.

People find sending Christmas cards by post to be nearly as easy as the sending of electronic greetings. Nice cards can are easily available at sales outlets, and Christmas stamps are preferred as the final touch. In total, 66% of consumers thought that a Christmas card must have a Christmas stamp.

This year's Independence day weekend is a good time for Christmas card writing

People like Christmas cards especially for the traditions attached to them. As many as 90% of the survey respondents learned the tradition of sending Christmas cards as children. The majority of consumers (90%) like to write all their Christmas cards at once, and consider this a good way of building Christmas spirit.

This year, Christmas greetings can be sent to Finland at the inexpensive Christmas rate of €0.75 until Friday, December 12. The Independence day weekend (December 6-7) is a good time to write Christmas cards before the busiest holiday season starts.

The final deadline for sending Christmas greetings in class 2 (€0.90) is Wednesday, December 17, and in class 1 (€1.00), the deadline is Thursday, December 18.

The survey implemented using TNS Gallup Kanava between 7 and 12 November, 2014, was completed by 1,106 consumers, which is a representative sample of Finns aged 15 or older. The survey was planned and the results were analyzed by Itella's Research Manager Kari Elkelä.

Important sending information for Christmas 2014 (PDF)