/ Money

Is it too expensive to send Christmas cards?

Christmas stamp from the 1970s

With December fast approaching, it should be time to start writing your Christmas card list. But does the price of stamps encourage you to keep your list short and sweet this year?

At the start of year we asked Which? members if they sent fewer cards in 2012 than they had the previous year and more than half said yes. And a whopping 63% said the reason for sending fewer was that stamps are too expensive.

I was surprised to learn that Royal Mail increased the cost of a first class stamp by 14 pence between December 2011 and December 2012. So if you sent Christmas cards to 50 people it would cost £7 more now than it would have done in 2011.

First class post too expensive?

Stamp prices were frozen in December 2012, but with a 60p postage cost for every card you send first class, have you stopped sending so many?

Which? members told us they’d found a few work arounds to reduce the cost of postage – the most popular being posting early and sending cards second class. With a saving of 10p per card, I know I’d opt for second class too.

Christmas emails and texts

The second most popular option is to deliver cards by hand and the third, sending an e-card. Both are still personal and, in the case of e-cards, usually free. Perhaps you like to avoid all of the above and let your friends and family know that you won’t be sending cards but instead, issuing a small donation to charity.

Is it sad that we’re sending fewer Christmas cards, or is it just inevitable as we communicate more online? Do you send fewer than you used to?

Do you send physical Christmas cards?

Yes (89%, 1,297 Votes)

No (11%, 166 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,463

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Perhaps we need to cross-reference this Conversation to the “Thrifty or Tight . . . ?” one. I think the UK Christmas stamps are very stylish and worth every penny [and more than the card in many cases]. I prefer to receive cards from our North American friends with their own countries’ stamps on the envelopes. Catherine’s query is an example of thrift; sending e-cards is tight; and doing a group e-mail is downright mean.

For sending cards abroad, which require a higher postage than the regular inland stamps, I choose the Royal Mail’s fabulous special issue stamps which currently include Commonwealth Games, Seaside Architecture, Buckingham Palace, British Prime Ministers, and Sustainable Fish [so something for every one, really].

Drewa says:
17 November 2014

I was amazed to discover you can buy stamps more cheaply via Ebay, but I am still working my way through a stash I bought before the enormous hike in Dec 2012. Also, this probably doesn’t apply everywhere but every year our local scouts will deliver to the local area at a lower rate.