Third of Dutch people happiest at Christmas

A card in the post boosts Christmas spirit

8 December 2011 at 16:00 CET – The Hague – According to research by PostNL, a third of Dutch people are happier during Christmas than at any other time of the year. Now Saint Nicholas has left the country, the Dutch are pulling out the stops in the run-up to Christmas. Decorating homes, hanging up lights around town and getting ready to celebrate the festive season with family and friends: the Netherlands is looking forward to Christmas! PostNL carried out a survey into the Christmas spirit and people’s preparations leading up to the postal operator’s busiest time of the year, which sees 160 to 170 million Christmas cards being sent.

The survey shows that the Dutch take a traditional approach to Christmas cards, with 8 out of 10 sending a card, preferably by post. Dutch people on average send 36 Christmas cards and receive 32 each year. The lucky recipients include family, friends and acquaintances. Neighbours (62%) and colleagues (47%) are not forgotten either. Six percent of respondents even send a Christmas card to their ex.

Preparations get underway after Saint Nicholas

The vast majority of Dutch people (62%) start their Christmas preparations, such as decorating the tree and buying gifts for friends and family, the week after Saint Nicholas, which is celebrated on 5 December. Singles and men are the exception to the rule: they are less sure than the rest of the population about when they intend to start preparing.

Less use of social media during festive season

Decorating the home (39%), setting up the Christmas tree (36%) and shopping for presents are what gives the majority of Dutch people the greatest enjoyment in the run-up to Christmas Day. Brightly lit streets (40%) and the Christmas atmosphere on TV and at the cinema (20%) also fill the Dutch with that Christmassy feeling. Although Hyves, Facebook and Twitter are popular ways to send Christmas greetings, a large percentage of the Dutch population make less use of these media during the festive season. And a portion of the respondents said that they don’t make any use of social media during the Christmas holidays at all.

Christmas wishes

With between 160 and 170 million Christmas cards a year, PostNL is the Netherlands’ busiest Christmas messenger. This year, PostNL is boosting the Christmas spirit by launching the Christmas wish tree, an actual tree that will be doing a tour of Dutch cities this week, complemented by an online Christmas wish tree. From 12 December, consumers can send in their Christmas wishes online at PostNL will make the most special and original Christmas wishes come true.

About the survey
The online survey into the Dutch and their Christmas spirit and festive preparations was conducted in November 2011 on behalf of PostNL by research agency ISIZ and Stadspeil using a representative sample of 1,051 respondents.

About PostNL
Annually PostNL processes 8.8 billion addressed postal items (including 100 million parcels) and delivers to more than 88 million addresses in the Benelux, Germany, the UK and Italy. PostNL’s main business is mail, parcels and e-commerce. The company also provides services in the area of data and document management, direct marketing and fulfilment. PostNL employs some 77,000 people. In 2010 the company generated a turnover of nearly 4.3 billion euros. More information about PostNL can be found on its website

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