One In Six Britons Plan To Send Home-Made Christmas Cards This Year: A Study Of Britain’s Christmas Card Sending Habits

New Royal Mail research reveals the who, what, when and why of Britain’s contemporary Christmas card sending behaviour.

New Royal Mail research reveals that four in ten Brits plan to send a custom-made Christmas card this year, either by making their own (17%), purchasing from an online specialist cards retailer such as Moonpig.com (18%) or a card using their child’s drawings from nursery or school (5%).

This complements previously released figures indicating that over half (55%) of UK adults believe that sending Christmas cards to loved ones is more important this year than ever. Three quarters (75%) also agree that sending a Christmas card is a more meaningful way of letting loved ones know that they are thinking of them than a social media message or text.

A Stamp of Approval for Christmas Stamps

The comprehensive study of modern British Christmas card sending habits revealed that four in ten (39%) UK adults believe it is important to include a Christmas stamp on the envelope of their Christmas cards.

When asked why, responses include it “not feeling like Christmas without one” (40%), tradition (49%) and it “looking great on the envelope” (43%).

The Modern Christmas Card

The 1st and the 10th of December are the two days when the nation is most likely to send their Christmas cards. However, almost one in six (16%) send them as early as November.


Three in ten (29%) Britons include a handwritten personal note or letter in their Christmas cards – more than a standard greeting. More than one in ten (12%) incorporate a family photograph, and nearly one in ten (9%) sneak in a paw print from the family pet.


The majority (65%) of Britons prefer to receive traditional, festive Christmas cards. Christmas trees are officially the nation’s favourite Christmas card cover, followed by snow scenes. One in ten (11%) like to see animals wearing festive clothing on the front of their cards.


UK’s favourite Christmas card covers

  1. Christmas trees (32%)
  2. Snow scenes (30%)
  3. Father Christmas (29%)
  4. Robins (21%)
  5. Snowmen (20%)
  6. Nativity scenes (17%)
  7. Reindeer (15%)
  8. Christmas decorations (14%)
  9. Animals wearing festive clothing (11%)
  10. Angels (9%)


On average, people keep their Christmas cards on display for a month (24%). However, 2% keep them up for two-three months, and 1% proudly display them all year!


Yorkshire tends to send their Christmas cards the earliest in the country – as two in ten (20%) send them in November. This is closely followed by Londoners (19%).


Those from the West Midlands keep them up the longest (13% keep them up for longer than a month), whilst Yorkshire and the North East tend to keep them up for the shortest period of time (48% keep their Christmas cards on display for up to two weeks).


David Gold, Director of Public Affairs & Policy at Royal Mail commented: “This year more than ever, 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 UK-bound 2nd Class mail is Friday 18th December, and for 1st Class mail it is Monday 21st December. For Special Delivery, it is Wednesday 23rd December.

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