IT would really be sad if Christmas cards vanished from this time of year because we stopped sending them.

Yet, apparently, research by Mintel shows that less than half of those aged under 35 buy Christmas cards, preferring instead to text messages and use social media like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to send greetings full of emojis.

The figures are very much at odds with the three in four of those aged 65 and over who send cards but, like the way that CDs and books have been adversely affected by the digital revolution, could Christmas cards be dying out?

Maybe not. Just as there has been a surge in book sales and vinyl records, the 170-year tradition of sending cards might yet be saved. Nothing beats the little personal message from a friend or relative to wish us well. No amount of emojis shout Happy Christmas like a card.