Tuesday, January 02, 2018

The big Annual Christmas Card Audit 2017

Welcome to the ACCA for 2017! (I've started calling it the ACCA. I've done this for 6 years now so it feels fairly safe to say it's annual.)

I like the sentiment

I'm just going to crack on with the figures and make comments as I go along. Links to previous years are at the end of the post. New or altered categories are asterisked.

Total number of cards: 90 (a new record low, although we only had 91 in 2016)

Hand-made / home-produced cards: 7 (same number for the fourth year in a row)
Cards with embellishments (bits stuck on): 3
Unusually shaped cards: 3
*Cards with glitter: 17

Cards sold in aid of charity (or fundraising): 57 (2 up from 2016)
Total number of charities represented: 41 (down from 48 in 2016)
Most popular charity represented: Macmillan had 6, as did the Traidcraft / SCIAF / CAFOD / Christian Aid combination. British Heart Foundation had 5. Children in Need and the Phoenix International Charity both had 4.

Religious themes
Religious-themed cards: 31 (3 down from 2016)
Cards featuring the Nativity: 16
Christmas story 'characters':
Three kings: 6 (still much more popular than the shepherds)
The shepherds: 3 (staging a bit of a comeback after 1 card in 2016 and 0 in 2015)
The star of Bethlehem: 2
Angels: 0
"Joy to the World": 0
'Cartoony' religious (various themes): 0 - clearly 2017 was a much more serious religious year than 2016.

Other themes
Santa: 5 (still a long way down from 14 in 2015)
Penguins: 3 (drop from 5 in 2016)
Various cartoon bears: 1 (this seems to be seriously decreasing after the all time high of 12 in the first ACCA in 2012)
Deer/reindeer: 5 (increase)
Christmas decorations: 5 (the same)
Christmas trees: 10 (increase)
Christmas food: 1 (the same)
Robins: 3 (increase)
Donkeys: 1 (decrease)
Sheep: 1 (the same)
Winter scene/scenery: 2 (a big drop from 8 in 2016)
Snowmen: 6 (decrease)
Licensed characters: 3 (stayed the same)

Messages (front of card only)
Cards that mention 'Christmas' on the front: 37. Only 5 of them were religious themed. I've mentioned before how religious cards don't really use the word Christmas. It's quite odd.
"Seasons Greetings": 1
"Winter Wishes": 1
"Let it Snow": 0
"Ho Ho Ho": 0
Mentions "Jesus": 3
*Bible verse: 3 (only counting them if the verse is on the front of the card)

Non-scoring themes (from previous audits): 'Political' fund-raising cards; Dogs in Santa Hats; Mistletoe; Owls; Peace

Previous years:
2015 plus senders analysis and Bible verse breakdown
2016 plus favourite cards
New for 2017: Christmas carol audit


  1. How many duplicates? We had a record 4 duplicates this year!!

    1. No duplicates for us this year. Do you mean 4 cards the same or 4 pairs of cards?

  2. I wonder if card senders knowing that you publish this audit influences the results now? I'm thinking especially in terms of trends that change from year to year but there could be other ways. If I buy cards I make a point of choosing religious-themed ones, and I'm probably not going to change my general behaviour because of your blog, but if I find a religious card that says 'Christmas' on the front, for example, will I be more drawn to it now? :-)

    1. Well, observing the experiment does change the outcome, so there probably is some kind of effect. And a couple of people have tried to game it.

  3. 4 pairs of cards Jon - three of one design as it happened!

    1. That's interesting. What's your overall card total, if you don't mind me asking?

  4. Sorry to hear of your lack of dogs. We had 7 cards with dogs in Christmas headwear! Also 3 cats (2 on hats), 3 bears, 8 deer/reindeer, 4 penguins (3 in Santa hats), 6 robins (2 lots in hats), 1 giraffes in hats, 1 chimp in hat.
    Religious wise we had 4:1 shepherds to kings.

    1. I don't think we've ever had shepherds outnumber kings. Especially not to that extent. That's an impressive menagerie of animals with hats. And without.

  5. Replies
    1. Ah, you're more popular than us. I always suspected that might be the case.