Social media overtakes cards as purveyor of festive greetings

It is only among over 55-year-olds that a majority sends a Christmas card to purvey festive greetings

james
James Debono
23 December 2016, 8:05am
Not all those who send festive greetings through the social media have given their back to tradition
Not all those who send festive greetings through the social media have given their back to tradition
A majority of people under 55 send their Christmas greetings through social media sites, mainly through Facebook, while only one in four send the more traditional card by post.

This emerges from MaltaToday’s Christmas survey which asked respondents how they send greetings to friends and relatives whom they do not see on a daily basis.

It is only among over 55-year-olds that a majority sends a Christmas card to purvey festive greetings.  

While only a minority of 18 to 34-year-olds (23%) and 35 to 54-year-olds (26%) send Christmas cards, 52% of over 55 year olds still send cards by post.

Overall 35% of all respondents polled in the MaltaToday survey send Christmas cards by post compared to 38% who send festive greetings through the social media. 

But not all those who send festive greetings through the social media have given their back to tradition. The survey shows that 18% of those who use the social media to send greetings also send a card. 

Sending greetings by SMS is also more popular among younger respondents. Among 18 to 34-year-olds SMS greetings are as popular as cards. But over 55-year-olds are more likely to send festive greetings by email than other age groups. 

MaltaToday’s Christmas survey asked respondents how they send greetings to friends and relatives whom they do not see on a daily basis
MaltaToday’s Christmas survey asked respondents how they send greetings to friends and relatives whom they do not see on a daily basis
The custom of sending Christmas cards was started in the United Kingdom in 1843 by Sir Henry Cole a civil servant who had the misfortune of having too many friends who send them letters conveying their Christmas greetings. To solve this problem Cole hit on an ingenious idea. He approached an artist friend, John Callcott Horsley, and asked him to design a triptych showing a family at table celebrating the holiday flanked by images of people helping the poor—and had a thousand copies made by a London printer. The image was printed on a piece of stiff cardboard. At the top of each was the salutation, “To:_____” allowing Cole to personalize his responses, which included the generic greeting “A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year To You.”

james
James Debono is MaltaToday's chief reporter on environment, planning and land use issues, ...