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Where are all the Christmas cards?!

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Not on the shop shelves – we see plenty of those! And not the ones from the select friends who have decided to donate that money to a charity instead (that’s a debate for another day!). I mean, after we send them, where are they all going? Have you noticed before Christmas cards not arriving from certain friends or relatives and brushing it off that they simply don’t care enough to send them anymore? Have you had complaints from people that you haven’t sent them a Christmas card when they’re ticked off on your list and you’re sure you did?


This research from a company called Data Label might be the answer you’re looking for, although not the one you want. They estimate that with 15% of people answering their survey that they have sent Christmas cards which have never arrived (and that’s only the ones we know about!), Christmas 2016 could see up to 840,000 cards never reaching their intended recipient. With the average card costing around 89p and approximately 56 million people sending Christmas cards each year, up to £750,000 could be wasted on this – and that’s not even taking into account any cash that’s been secreted inside the envelope by kindly relatives or the cost of the stamp for the privilege of sticking that card in the post only for it to disappear into oblivion!

That’s all well and good (or not, as the case may be), but what can we regular folk do to avoid it? Hand delivering cards is one option, but isn’t much of an option to consider if your relatives live in Australia. You can also opt to send an e-card online to those you want to greet at this festive time of year, however many will argue that this seems a lot less personal than a physical card in their hands written by you.

So are we to risk it for another year? Many of us will be keeping a close eye on our Christmas cards this year and wondering whether the money we spend on them is worth it. I for one though am personally wondering where all these hundreds of thousands of missing cards are – are there lonely postal employees sat surrounded by cards belonging to others? Cards being burnt on fires? Thousands of cards simply slipping through the gaps in the sorting machines? I guess we’ll never know.