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Home Breaking ‘Happy Christmas’ is going out of fashion, but ‘Merry Christmas’ is still a firm favourite according to new research on the nation’s card-writing etiquette

‘Happy Christmas’ is going out of fashion, but ‘Merry Christmas’ is still a firm favourite according to new research on the nation’s card-writing etiquette

  • Around four in 10 won’t finish their Christmas shopping until at least the week before Christmas.
  • ‘Glad Tidings’ teeters on extinction, but the future is bright for ‘Happy Holidays’ in a major shift in the nation’s Christmas greetings habits.
  • New delivery options with DPD and EVRI provide even more choice and convenience in time for Christmas.

Post Office is reminding the nation that the final dates for posting cards and gifts within the UK in time for Christmas Day are rapidly approaching. Monday 18 December is the final recommended date for posting Second Class and Wednesday 20 December for First Class.

But don’t despair if things get in the way and you miss the last first-class date: Post Office’s new ‘buy-in-branch’ service in partnership with DPD and Evri means that additional next day delivery services alongside Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed are also available over the counter up until Thursday 21 and Friday 22 December.

It comes as new Post Office research found that 78 percent of people are planning to post a Christmas card this year, showing the beloved British tradition is still alive and well.

And for those stuck on what to write or how to address their Christmas cards – some inspiration can be drawn from new insights on the nation’s festive writing etiquette.

Post Office research found that ‘Merry Christmas’ is officially the most popular greeting, with 53 percent of us choosing it as our preferred phrase.

‘Happy Christmas’ followed with half the votes (25 percent) – but it is becoming passé: just 16 percent of Gen Z and millennials (16-34 years) selected it as their preferred greeting, compared to 65 percent of baby boomers (55+ years).

Instead, ‘Happy Holidays’ is on the rise, with Gen Z (16-24 years) eight times more likely to use the phrase than baby boomers (55+) (8 percent vs 1 percent) – though it doesn’t yet compete with old favourites.

‘Glad Tidings’ and ‘Good Tidings’ are on the critically endangered list, with just two percent of the population selecting one of them as their go-to phrase.

‘Dear’ (44 percent) and ‘To’ (41 percent) are still the agreed ways of addressing Christmas cards, with just eight percent opting for ‘Hi’. We’re a warm-hearted nation, with ‘Lots of love’ (35 percent) and ‘Love’ (25 percent) remaining the most popular sign-offs.

When it comes to addressing envelopes, Post Office found people stick to tradition with 42 percent using a title and surname e.g., ‘Mr and Mrs Bloggs’, and 20 percent preferring title, first name and a surname e.g., ‘Mr and Mrs Joe Bloggs’.

However, Gen Z and millennials are three times more likely to only use the recipient’s first name compared to baby boomers (55+ years) (9 percent vs 3 percent).

Laura Joseph, Post Office Customer Experience Director said: “It has been fascinating to see the different ways we address our Christmas gifts as the nation gears up for the big day. But whether it’s ‘Merry Christmas’, ‘Happy Christmas’ or ‘Season’s Greetings’, it loses its meaning if it arrives late. So, it’s important to plan ahead and use our Branch Finder and Last Posting Date tools to make sure you post your gifts before the final posting dates.

“Many Post Office branches are open longer hours, with some open seven days a week. We also have new in-branch parcel services with DPD and Evri which will offer greater flexibility and convenience for customers during the Christmas period. Our branches can recommend the best postage service for your needs, and there’s lots of helpful information you can check on our website before wrapping up to head out the door.

“You could even take advantage of our Parcels Online service which enables you to compare and purchase postage online, and all you need to do is drop it off in-store.”

The last posting dates for arrival for Christmas Day are:

Wednesday 20 December

  • Royal Mail 1st Class
  • Royal Mail 1st Class Signed For
  • Parcelforce Worldwide express48 and express48 Large

Thursday 21 December

  • Special Delivery Guaranteed®
  • Parcelforce Worldwide express24. expressAM
  • Evri Next Day (if posted before 11am)
  • DPD Next Day

Friday 22 December

  • Special Delivery Guaranteed® (Guaranteed Saturday delivery for an extra fee)
  • DPD Next Day with Saturday delivery

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