Sunday, 6 January 2013

Christmas Card Audit 2012

Executive Summary:

The most significant trends this year have been:

·         a marked decline in snow, snowmen and snowflakes, probably due to climate change and a generally mild winter (so far).  Also Santas, maybe out of disillusionment;
·         a significant increase in birds.  Robins have risen by 50%, and other species make their first showing, notably geese and turkeys.  Both of these appear to have been alive at the time the card was produced, and presumably were consulted as to their posthumous appearance;
·         Glued-on glitter has almost entirely vanished.  This may be one of the few welcome outcomes of austerity.

The full figures (last year’s in brackets):

Snow/Snowmen/Snowflakes:              2 (12)

Santas/Reindeer:                                  3 (9)

Animals/Birds:                                     17 (7)

 (of which Robins:                               6 (4))

Landscapes:                                         6 (7)

Boats:                                                  0 (3)

Nativities/Wise Men/Angels:              4 (3)

Christmas trees/Baubles:                     5 (3)

Comical:                                              1 (1)

Puddings:                                             0 (1)


Special categories:

Homemade/designed:                          5 (4)

Cards with glued-on glitter:                 1 (5)

Ecards:                                                 1 (1)

Wonderfully weird:                             1 (3)


The Card of the Year Award goes to Mig, for her wonderfully weird Perspex Still Life.

As a sidenote, cards in general seem to have got bigger again, having shrunk to stamp-size in previous years.  Is this akin to skirt lengths in hard times?


  1. Santa hit by recession eh?

    I took my cards down yesterday and have them ready in a pile to enable me to totally steal this idea (or at least compare findings). This will only work if I can find last year's list, which is not guaranteed given my change of computer.

  2. I'm totally stumped as to what to say to this. It was suprisingly interesting if only because I find it astonishing but somehow endearing that you took the time to categorise your Christmas cards, and for more than the one year.
    Autistic spectrum some how sprung to mind but that would be rude to say it out loud, and anyway applies to most men (I know) (which says something) (but I don't know what). How are your books, cds, dvds etc arranged?

  3. We received a lot of bird cards too, including a blackbird which seems quite unusual. Only one robin and that was part of a street scene. Three glitter cards, two of them (from WH Smith) identical. I'm not counting the rest, i've got work to do and I'm too easily distracted.

  4. I'm with Zig on this Tim. Sorely tempted to go and count all the posts in which you count things.... oh wait...

  5. Zig and Macy, I think you're right, I do go a bit autistic occasionally (about once a year, in January). I prefer to see it as sociological record-keeping, along the lines of the Mass Observation movement, albeit with a facetious and superficial overlay.

    Zig, too many questions there to answer in detail, but in short - random, with above-average retrieval rates.

    Mace, please let me know when the results are in, and recommend appropriate therapy.

    Liz,I think we need to set up a sort of clearing warehouse in which Christmas card analysis can be properly conducted on a global basis, employing hundreds of researchers and thereby kickstarting the economy.

    Z - that's all right, we statistical researchers need the occasional rogue submission, as we call them.

  6. A rogue submission - Tim, you've got me pegged!

  7. Lawks! You sure do have a lot of time on your hands! Conversely, we seem to have received a lot of glittery cards this year and very few birds. Make of that what you will.

  8. What an interesting thing to have done. :-)

    Enjoyed it!

    Greetings from Minneapolis,


  9. 25% have glitter, 2 birds (both robins), 1 designer, 1 with two naked people and the caption "dashing through the snow" sold in aid of Help the Hospices, which I thought strangely appropriate.

  10. There seems to have been a complete lack of fat cherubs and greasy candles this year.

  11. Tim, I hesitate to say this but do you think perhaps you should get out more?

  12. Thank you Tim! I shall treasure the award.
    Now I have to fish our cards out of the recycling box and look.
    The reason I never got promotion in the civil service is now clear to me - it was because I have no perseverance in collecting statistics.

  13. You were lucky! We had 9 with glitter.

  14. I'm impressed at your card count. I got about 6 and three of those were from family. :) Plus e-cards.

  15. Thank you all for your sympathy. You're right, Frances, it took up at least 35 minutes of my life when I could have been out more. (Not including the blog-writing and comment-reading time, which I regard as being as good as an evening at the pub.)

    Hello Pearl, nice to hear from you. Don't worry, I'm not always like this. (Am I?? Everybody??)

  16. May all your Robins be round ones....

  17. No,not when I'm around anyway, that's my role.
    I would have added my own Xmas crad survey but my diary entry notes they went in the recycling bin 1 hour 23 minutes (which was emptied 14 minutes) before I read the post.
    I suppose I could have made one up, but that wouldn't have honestly helped the demand for more glitter so preventing a triple dip recession.