Presented By

We may all be a bunch of Scrooges.

Only 2% of Americans will return a Christmas card in the mail from a complete stranger, according to a new study, which found a dramatic decline from previous surveys that monitored good cheer.

Social psychologist Brian Meier said he replicated two similar studies conducted by researchers in 1976 and again in 2000 which both found that 20% of recipients wrote Christmas cards back after receiving one from someone they didn’t know.

He mailed hand-signed Christmas cards to 755 randomly selected people in the country with his return address included, Discover magazine first reported. Only 2% sent him cards back.

Meier blamed the “unexpectedly low” response rate to the rise of email and social media, which may have made unsolicited messages more unwanted. He also said participants may have felt the unexpected cards were “suspicious and troubling.”

More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at

You May Also Like