Christmas Cards Remain Popular After 170 Years

Christmas cards remain popular 170 years after the first one was sent.

In the digital era, which allows people communicate instantly by social media, text messages, and email, it is surprising to find one tradition that is still going strong, the Christmas card.

The first Christmas card was sent in England in 1843 and became a tradition that has survived 170 years.

Expert Pam Danzinger, president of Unity Marketing, a lead researcher in a study of the greeting card market, says two-thirds of people reported sending Christmas cards last year, which is statistically even with results found in a similar survey done in 2009.

Out of those surveyed in the study, 80 percent stated they would send the same amount of Christmas cards this year while only six percent reporting they would send less cards.

Danzinger says in a statement:

“Though the overall share of consumers who send holiday greetings has been on a steady course since 2008, the types of cards people will send are likely to be quite different this year.”

“What’s really changed in the holiday greeting card market is a growing demand for customized holiday cards where the sender uses their own photo and software tools provided by companies such as Shutterfly, to create a totally personalized greeting card. Young people in particular gravitate toward the customized holiday card market, while the more mature consumers tend to stick with the traditional boxed cards.”

Digital photography and retailers ever increasing options for Christmas cards are helping younger consumers to carry on the tradition in a more personalized manner.

Nowadays, a customer can take a picture, go online, and create a completely customized Christmas card. Some retailers offer one hour pick-up for this service.

Danzinger says based upon survey results, the leading retailers in the market are,, and

The first known Christmas card was sent in England, in 1843 and was recently put up on the auction block.

On Saturday, the British auction house Henry Aldridge & Son says an anonymous bidder paid £4,200, or $6,846, for the card, considered to be part of a set of the world’s first Christmas cards.

The black and white greeting card depicts a festive scene with a Victorian family eating and drinking. The message reads: “A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to You.”

First Christmas card sold

Danzinger says pre-printed Christmas cards have suffered in the digital age:

“Through the research, we found that the sales of individual, preprinted greeting cards dropped sharply, while those of custom greetings rose by an even greater share.”

“Many consumers still believe in the value of a greeting card, but they want those greetings to be directly from their heart, not featuring generic art work and second-rate poetry.”

Will you be sending Christmas cards this year?