University of Limerick
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Christmas cards: are senders full of joy and good cheer?

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-01-31, 10:31 authored by Stephen GallagherStephen Gallagher, Siobhán HowardSiobhán Howard, Jennifer McMahon, Carlos Palmieri

People with depression often struggle with Christmas. The festive period is often associated with parties, social engagement, putting up Christmas trees among other behaviours. Here, in a large UK population level dataset, we examine whether higher depressive symptomatology was associated with frequency of sending Christmas cards, and if this varied by religious affiliation. Retrospective observational study. Participants were 2,416 individuals within the UK who completed data from 2013 to 2015 within Wave 5 of the longitudinal survey ‘Understanding Society’. Data on depressive symptoms 12-General Health Questionnaire, frequency of sending Christmas cards, and religious affiliation were extracted. A higher percentage (54.5%) of those without depressive symptoms reported ‘Always’ sending Christmas cards, compared to 46.0% of those with depressive symptoms χ2 (2) = 8.71, p < .001. After adjusting for religious affiliation, this remained significant only for Christians after holding, gender, relationship status and ethnicity constant. Christians with depression (20%) were more likely to ‘Never’ send Christmas cards, while those not depressed were 53% more likely to ‘Always’ send them, p < .01. In those identifying as Christians not sending a Christmas card was significantly associated with depressive symptoms. This might help provide a way to identify loved ones, friends or colleagues who may need help and support at Christmas. 



Cogent Psychology 10, 2151727


Taylor & Francis

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  • Psychology

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