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Facts & Figures

Facts & Figures

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Consumers to Buy More Than One Billion Christmas Cards


WASHINGTON - More people are getting into the holiday spirit, according to the U.S. Greeting Card Association (GCA), and will show it by purchasing 1.6 billion Christmas cards.

The figure makes this the largest card sending holiday in the U.S., said the GCA, and includes boxed cards (excludes photo cards and other personalized cards sold online).

On average, Americans purchase approximately 6.5 billion greeting cards each year, with annual retail sales estimated between $7 and $8 billion. Additionally, nearly three-fourths of consumers send holiday cards because they know how good it feels to receive on themselves, according to research by GCA member, Hallmark Card, which is adding more embellishments, like removable ornaments, simple photography, laser-cut designs, richer colors and shorter, more impactful sentiments to some of its cards this year.

Design is also driving big purchases, and consumers are looking for more modern updates on traditional text and icons, quirky humor mixed with nostalgia, bold color palettes and unexpected pops of color, according to the GCA.

The GCA also found that Christmas cards will continue to incorporate classic green-and-red hues along with gold touches, while featuring vintage imagery or fashion-inspired iconography. Cards focusing on winter themes will combine more winter whites, soft aqua, frosty spearmint, and ice rink blue, and include images of snowflakes and icicles, as well as black-and-white illustrations with pops of red create an updated, graphic look for the holiday. In addition, brighter, less-traditional hues will be found on more whimsical-themed holiday cards.

"For the holiday season, basics continue to rule—from themes to colors," said Designer Greetings, GCA member. The company is seeing demand for understated, natural designs for Christmas that "speak to the return to the familiar for peace of mind and comfort," while American Greetings is focusing on more traditional designs with a contemporary flair.

"Around the holidays, families and friends seek out experiences and traditions they can share, which provides framework and connection for making memories. Although traditions are very important for the post-recession mindset, people still like to give them a modern update. Christmas trends will go from classic to quirky this holiday season."

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