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Christmas cards: faith is stable

05 December 2014


Two robins: a Christmas card given in 1877 

Two robins: a Christmas card given in 1877 

IT MIGHT be a subconscious acknowledgement of our worsening winters, but the card retailer Clintons has noticed a growing popularity in snow-themed Christmas cards.

The high-street chain analysed hundreds of Christmas-card designs it had sold over the past 20 years, and found that snowmen had increased in frequency by 17.1 per cent in the past decade. Snowflake designs have also increased by 14.3 per cent over the same period.

The estimated average depth of snow on cards, however, has declined, and now averages only six inches.

Clintons had expected to see a decline in religious themes, but found that demand had remained stable, as had the popularity of traditional scenes such as Victorian street views, holly bushes, and bells.

Also in decline is the robin, whose popularity has slumped by 23.4 per cent in the past ten years, compared with a real-life increase of 49 per cent since the 1970s.

Christmas trees have become more common, increasing by 7.3 per cent, and the use of glitter is up by more than a third (34.7 per cent).

Father Christmas has lost some weight - Clintons estimates that he is about 14kg lighter than he was in 2004. He has also changed colour: his cheeks have changed from a very pink Pantone colour code 217 to a rosier Pantone 177, and his red outfit has deepened from a scarlet Pantone 1795 to a deeper Pantone 1807.

And, while his appearances are down slightly, by 5.6 per cent, his trademark red hat is featured 12.7 per cent more, worn by everything from dogs and cats to teddy bears and bunnies.

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