Christmas cards survive the digital age by going upmarket –

Festive cards at Harrods retail for as much as £24.95 for six (£4.15 each), or even £42.95 for eight (£5.36 each), while a set of Katie Leamon’s 12 days of Christmas cards sells for £25 at Harvey Nichols.

On top of that is the continued desire for a personalised, handwritten message which can be hung on a mantlepiece, rather than an impersonal email which can be deleted with the press of a button.

A study by the Royal Mail this month has found that  72 per cent of people who celebrate Christmas would prefer to receive printed cards.

Only six per cent would rather get a festive greeting via social media and 10 per cent via text.

Indeed more than 60 percent of people questioned still keep addresses and postcodes of friends and relatives written down in a physical address book.

Mrs Little said: “Sending and receiving a greetings card is still a prized form of communication. There’s an emotional connection between people by something that is handwritten and expresses a personal message.

“Furthermore a Christmas card can be hung up and re-read over the festive period, brightening up a house in a way an easily deleted email simply can’t.”

Christmas Cards: A brief history

The habit of sending festive greetings dates as far back as the Middle Ages, when worshippers began distributing wood prints with religious themes at Christmas.

The custom of sending Christmas cards as we know them today took off in Britain from the 1840s onwards, when the first “Penny Post” postal deliveries began where launched.

Indeed the first Christmas card was commissioned in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole, who had helped to introduce the Penny Post service three years earlier. It was designed by John Horsley to be printed and then hand-coloured, either by the sender or receiver.


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