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Why your child's homemade Christmas card may say more about their future than you think

According to a new study by Vodafone, what your child chooses to adorn their homemade Christmas card with could have a direct correlation to their future lives. 

The nationwide study of 1,500 UK adults has discovered a whole host of revealing adult traits which can link back to the Christmas cards we drew as children. (Editor Note - See our Reality Check)

According to the report, Brits who as kids chose to draw Father Christmas are the highest earners, now bringing home more than double the average UK national wage of £31,000. 

Christmas tree entry

The research also found that if your child is inclined to draw a snowman, they are most likely to end up working in administration (28 percent). 

While kids who cover their Christmas cards with a drawing of a Christmas fairy are most likely to go on to have a career in medicine and healthcare (20 percent). 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, creative children who favour abstract patterns are the most inclined towards the arts in later life (19 percent). 

Furthermore, the research found nonconformists who decorate their card with a non-Christmassy image, like a dinosaur or rocket ship, will grow up as the most self-assured adults (32 percent). 

While young artists who prefer to sketch a simple robin on the front of their festive card are likely to end up as straight-talking grown-ups (37 percent). 

According to the findings, if your child has drawn the classic nativity scene, they are more than likely to grow up to work in catering and hospitality (15 percent). 

And those who were mad about drawing Christmas trees grow up to be the biggest fans of the festive season, with a whopping 43 percent saying they love Christmas.  

Children's Christmas Cards

Child psychologist, Dr Amanda Gummer, who contributed to the research said: “The time I've spent working with children has led me to believe that the toys they play with and the pictures they draw can reflect how they are feeling at that moment. Drawing can really give parents insight into a child’s personality. This fun survey links the illustrations children draw to their future careers - but one thing is for sure, whatever your child ends up drawing on their Christmas card this year, the reason they've made you a card is to show you how much they love you.

“Making something that is so appreciated is wonderful for children’s confidence as the feedback they get from the people who receive the cards will show them how valued they and the card are. As with all artwork, it can be interesting to look beneath the surface to try to get insight into the child behind the card, their personality and feelings.  It’s fun to think that the drawings children do can reveal something about their personalities and it can be a great way to start a conversation with them about how they express themselves through their artwork and how different people have very different styles.” 

The study support’s Vodafone’s Light Up campaign which, through the month of December, is recreating children’s Christmas card designs on a giant light display to raise money for Barnardo’s. Vodafone UK Foundation is donating £1 for every card submitted*. It is easy to get involved, just create, snap and share on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using #ConnectTheMagic and tagging @vodafoneuk. 

Helen Lamprell, General Counsel & External Affairs Director at Vodafone UK said: “The link between children’s drawings and future job prospects is really interesting, and it is heart-warming to see just how much parents love receiving a hand drawn card from their little ones. To help give a little cheer this Christmas, we’re thrilled to be offering children a platform to showcase their festive designs via the Light Up display this December. It’s easy to submit and for every card, Vodafone UK Foundation will donate £1 to charity Barnardo’s*.” 

The study also found that 78 percent of the proud parents polled said they thought their children’s Christmas cards were good enough to be sold and two thirds (66 percent) said they always encouraged their little ones to make their own Christmas cards for family and friends. 

While more than half (52 percent) of parents keep every single Christmas card their child has ever made them. 

The study also found that 71 percent of Brits said they much preferred receiving a handmade Christmas card than a shop bought one and a quarter (22 percent) of us appreciate Christmas cards more than presents. 

Dr Amanda Gummer continues: “In an increasingly digital world, a handmade Christmas card is a delightful tradition that parents and wider family members treasure. It’s a lovely way of chronicling children's development as you can see how their artistic talent matures over the time.  It also helps children think about what Christmas means for them each year and allows them to take some time out from the more commercial aspects of the holiday season.” 

Find out more about how Vodafone is helping keep the UK connected this Christmas and follow the Light Up live feed at www.vodafone.co.uk/lightup 

 

Editor's Reality Check

It is important not to read too much into these stats. We have no transparency on the survey questions that were asked, nor how they were collected. It would seem reasonable to assume that they are dependent on the memories of individuals and will be skewed by subjectivity. The pool of 1500 respondents is statistically significant, but we do not know if respondents are representative of the population as a whole. In short, it is unlikely that the results of this survey are particularly accurate. That said, the survey provides some festive fun and certainly provokes interesting thoughts about how children can express their feelings through their creative output.