Survey: 9 of 10 prefer handwritten messages during the holidays

by | Dec 8, 2021

In an era when digital devices and social media seem to dominate how we connect with loved ones, a recent study conducted by Pilot Corporation of American (Pen Pilot) revealed that the most meaningful holiday messages actually come from putting pen to paper.

According to the survey conducted by the Jacksonville-based company, 9 out of 10 respondents perceived holiday cards with handwritten messages as more thoughtful and heartfelt than cards with printed messages. Additionally, 92 percent of respondents shared that they have saved handwritten cards or letters from a loved one as a cherished keepsake.

When asked what emotions they felt when receiving a handwritten card, respondents reported they felt: “appreciated,” “touched,” “cared for,” and “recognized”.

“We’ve found that ‘handwritten’ is synonymous with ‘heartfelt,’ and sending and receiving personalized messages penned by hand is proven to solidify lasting emotional connections,” said¬†Ariann Langsam, Vice President of Marketing for Pilot Pen. “At Pilot, we’re committed to providing high-quality writing instruments that help people reconnect with the written word, and with one another. In this holiday season and throughout the year, we want to encourage everyone to pick up a pen and help spread joy.”

These warm sentiments extend beyond individuals, with 79 percent of respondents reporting that a handwritten holiday card from an employer or an organization they are involved with would make them feel “appreciated”. An additional 80 percent of respondents agreed writing by hand provides a “personal touch” to correspondence.

In fact, handwriting itself was ranked as a valuable gift with a high potential for becoming a treasured heirloom to be passed down for generations to come. More than 66 percent of respondents stated that handwritten letters from one family member to another are likely to become priceless mementos, compared to just 11 percent of typed letters. Likewise, 63 percent of respondents felt that a story or poem written by a child in their own handwriting has the potential to become a treasured family heirloom, compared to just 21 percent who felt the same about a typed story or poem.

Similarly, four out of five parents and grandparents surveyed reported that they would prefer a homemade gift featuring their child or grandchild’s art or handwriting over a store-bought item.

Survey respondents also noted the significant role writing plays in holiday prep and planning, with more than 81 percent preferring handwritten lists to digital methods for keeping track of seasonal tasks and gift lists.

Outside of the holiday season, more than 77 percent of survey respondents reported writing by hand daily, and nearly all respondents (94 percent) reported writing by hand weekly, showing a continued strong preference for pen and paper, in spite of the various digital options available today.


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