Sunday, January 11, 2015

The big 2014 Christmas Card Audit

This is the third year I've done this (see 2013 and 2012), so I'm beginning to get observable trends. This year the big thing I noticed is that yet again religious-themed cards rarely featured the word Christmas. Small things that stuck out included a fund-raising card for a political cause (the Countryside Alliance), the emergence of Owls as a theme, and the return of dogs in Santa hats.

New categories are marked with an asterisk And here are the numbers...

Total number of cards: 91 (down from 97 in 2013 and 104 in 2012)
Hand-made / home-produced cards: 7 (no change)
Cards with magnets on: 0 (no change)
*Cards with detachable tree decorations: 1

Cards sold in aid of charity: 47 (up from 44 in 2013 and 42 in 2012)
Of which...
Traidcraft cards: 8 (up from 5 last year)
Oxfam cards: None (for the second year running)
Main charity represented: Traidcraft
Total number of charities represented: 40 (down from 62 in 2013 and the same as 2012)
Marks and Spencer cards: 6 (down from 12 in 2013)
*Notable newcomer: RNLI (3 cards)
*'Political' fund-raising cards: 1 (Countryside Alliance)

Religious-themed cards: 27 ( down from 33 in 2013 and 37 in 2012)
Cards featuring the Nativity: 18 (up from 15)
Christmas story 'characters':
Three kings: 2 (down from 5 in 2013 and 9 in 2012)
The shepherds: 3 (down from 4 in 2013 but one more than in 2012)
The star of Bethlehem: 0 (down from 2 in 2013)

Other themes 
'Peace': 2 (stays the same)
Santa: 7 (down from 10 in 2013, but up from 6 in 2012)
Penguins: 4 (up from 3 in 2013, but down from 5 in 2012)
Various cartoon bears: 4 (up from 2 in 2013 but way down from the 12 bear high point in 2012)
Dogs in Santa Hats: 1 (up from 0 last year)
Deer/reindeer: 4 (down from 6)
Christmas decorations: 5 (up from 4)
Christmas trees: 4 (down from 5)
Robins: 4 (up from 3)
Mistletoe: 0 (down from 2)
Winter scene/scenery: 14 (double the 2013 total of 7)
*Snowmen: 5
*Owls: 3

Cards that mention 'Christmas' on the front: 33 (down from 35 in 2013 and 45 in 2012)

Conclusions and trends
Despite fewer cards received, many of the categories stayed pretty constant. The big change was the number of cards featuring winter scenes and scenery. They ranged from country churches covered in snow, through to the cute dog character Boofle, out sledging. I was very pleased to see a return in the Dogs wearing Santa Hats category, as I feel it captures the essence of Christmas. Although the overall total was down, the number of cards we received that raised funds for charity went up and percentage wise the balance towards fund-raising cards was much higher.What nice people we know!

Once I've done this for 2015 I will have four years worth of data and by then I can start creating graphs and stuff. So roll on January 2016!

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