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Christmas card sales decrease as social media gains popularity

Posted December 20, 2010
Updated December 21, 2010

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— More and more people are opting out of sending Christmas cards in recent years, as the need to get in touch with far-flung loved ones at the holidays is diminished by social media.

Like many mothers, Stacey Mark, of Cary, wants her family and friends to see her daughters grow. In the past, she has always sorted through photos to find the perfect picture to send with her holiday card.

But Mark said she's ending the tradition this year.

"I realized that everyone I want to send cards to is on my Facebook account, so they've seen all the pictures I've taken all year long," Mark said.

A Pennsylvania market research company has studied the decline in Christmas card sales over the past five years.

According to Pam Danzinger, of Unity Marketing in Stevens, Pa., among the people who bought greeting cards, 77 percent bought Christmas cards in 2005.

Last year, that number dipped to 62 percent.

More people ditching Christmas cards this year More people ditching Christmas cards this year

Danzinger said that social networking sites are one reason for the change, but research found that a growing segment of young people are turning to handwritten notes and cards to keep in touch with people.

"To take the time to write a note, say what you feel and send a card, I think, says a whole lot more than going online," said Jackie Freeman, who sent 150 Christmas cards this year. She was shopping at Lynn's Hallmark in Cary Monday.

Lynn's Hallmark manager Sarah Holdman said sending cards at Christmas is a tradition that many still enjoy.

"I really think it's just the warm fuzzy that you get when you get a piece of mail that's not a bill," Holdman said. "A lot of people still want to give that at Christmas."

For the Mark family, cards have been slowly trickling in, but the staircase in their home that's usually lined with dozens of holiday cards is looking much emptier this year.

"I don't feel like I'm missing out, because I know what's going on in everyone's lives," she said.

11 Comments

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  • boatrokr Dec 21, 10:41 a.m.

    I only sent out five cards this Christmas, all to elderly relatives. The postage for ten of those things is four bucks, and that doesn't cover the cost of the cards!

  • The Oracle Dec 21, 9:05 a.m.

    Of course ecards are Cheaper and Easier. I guess those are the two defining words this Christmas.

  • kikinc Dec 21, 8:55 a.m.

    I have to admit, I'm a bit addicted to Facebook, but I love sending Christmas cards! There was a story on WRAL a week or two ago about a girl who was creating her own Christmas cards and selling them to raise money for charity. I was moved by her story, so I bought some. They were hand delivered to my house! And I had a blast sending them out to people. Good feelings all around. I contributed to a good cause, and people liked getting cards. However, that's just me. I had a little extra time to write out cards. I know not everyone does.

  • RWS Dec 20, 7:13 p.m.

    So much prefer things in the electronic format!

  • zogdog Dec 20, 7:12 p.m.

    Yet another example of the atheistic conspiracy to subvert our theocracy.

  • Worland Dec 20, 7:02 p.m.

    I find ecards insulting. Nothing could be more lazy than pasting your address book and spamming all your friends with some really bad egarbage.

  • GroupOfPricklyPears Dec 20, 6:26 p.m.

    Love sending and receiving Christmas ecards. Saves paper, postage, time. Still send very few paper cards to younger and older friends and family who do not use computers.

  • scfair Dec 20, 6:24 p.m.

    I got to the main office in Cary about 8:30 thinking that they would be open by 8:00 in December. The sign said 8:30 and the curtains were drawn against the main door. The line up was running out the door. I was second in line and they were laughing and having a big time behind the blinds. Every person that walking in after me said pretty much "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?"
    And they wonder why they are losing business?

  • They call me CATMAN Dec 20, 6:00 p.m.

    Also the post office is not worker friendly they open at 9:00am and close at 4:00 and not open on Saturdays and 2 of the post offices I went too removed the postage (Stamp) machines E cards a much cheaper and you know when they get it.

  • illegals--GO HOME Dec 20, 5:57 p.m.

    I, too, send lots of Ecards to all my friends and family. It is more the cost of postage than the cost of the cards that made me start doing this. Plus, I can send lots of them this way and there are all kind of free sites that have great cards...some of them even animated or you can even customize with certain songs and such!

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