The poll of 1,012 adults, conducted across the country, found 53% would be annoyed if they received a digital festive greeting instead of a 'proper' Christmas card and a 1/3 would rather not get a card at all.

Card company Inkly, which lets you send real printed greetings cards with your own handwriting inside straight from your mobile or tablet, carried out the study which found 19% of respondents receive more digital greetings/cards than handwritten ones rising to 29% of the under 30s.

61% send fewer cards than they used to and 70% receive fewer cards than previous years. 41% miss the personal touch of posted cards. It is not just older people who hanker after Christmas traditions. 62% of 16 - 29 year olds would be miffed if their parents or siblings sent them a digital Christmas greeting with 21% believing the type of festive greeting you receive reveals how much a person rates you. In response Inkly has launched a Christmas card calculator which tells those in a card quandary who to send a Christmas card to, or not, and the type of greeting to send.

It's a good job as 72% of those questioned admit compiling their Christmas card list can be a social minefield with over a quarter of women being irritated with friends who only send season greetings via social media. 41% will stop sending cards to people who don't send one back. 67% will post cards to friends who send them one.

Says relationship expert and psychotherapist, Janine Timoko "It's no surprise we prefer the personal touch at Christmas. Sending cards is a very human and British thing to do. They connect us to others, help put our emotions into words and provide a tangible gift, which demonstrates people are thinking of you. It's a simple action which reaps rewards."

Comments Inkly co-founder, Lee Hawkins: "We built Inkly so that people can enjoy all of the convenience of an app without compromising on their desire to send a real card to those they care about. Inkly removes any need to shop for cards and stamps and removes the need for a trip to the post box. The survey results show that when it comes to Christmas the pleasure in choosing or creating the right card and the delight when it arrives is better than any social media post or digital greeting."

The survey results have been backed up by comments from some of the participants says Carolyn Scott, 39, who sends at least 30 cards every year, "Sending and receiving cards is a big part of my Christmas. I love the ritual of finding a pile on my doormat, guessing who they're from, ripping them opening, reading the messages and decorating my sitting room with them!"

Adds Angela, 77, "Christmas cards make me smile, especially ones from my grandchildren. It makes you feel loved that somebody has made the effort to send them to you."

A Victorian businessman, Sir Henry Cole, is credited with sending the world's first Christmas card in 1843. This year Inkly has teamed up with Contact the Elderly to help older people living alone this Christmas have a festive knees up.

Are you sending Christmas cards this year?

Are you sending Christmas cards this year?

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