A PC Advisor poll of 1,507 site visitors has found that electronic 'e-cards' are now more popular than physical Christmas cards, with just under half (49.9 percent) reporting that they only sent e-cards this year.

People's reasons for ditching paper cards varied. Over a quarter (27.9 percent) of respondents said they were motivated by environmental factors. A slightly smaller proportion - 22 percent - went for the answer 'I'm only sending e-cards, for mainly financial reasons'.

But forum member Seth Haniel had a different issue with paper cards.

"The fun has gone from proper cards... or rather their envelopes," he wrote. "I used to look forward to guessing who the card was from by the postmark, but can't remember being able to read a postmark for quite a while now."

About one in five (19.8 percent) sent a mixture of e-cards and physical Christmas cards. The hardcore Christmas card senders, then, who ticked the response 'E-cards don't count! I'm only sending proper Christmas cards', made up a surprisingly low 20.8 percent of voters.

But they were quite vocal in the subsequent discussion on our forums. Jameslayer, for one, was happy to stand up for the paper card: "I love Christmas cards and will continue to send them. You can't put a computer card on your wall."

"Someone in the depths of some dark and distant department where I work decided sending an e-card would be a nice idea," reported an equally vociferous MAT ALAN. "It was (is) the most awful concoction I have seen in a long time."

And wee eddie raised a final objection to the emailed card: security worries.

"How do you tell if an e-card is genuine?" he asked. "How do you sort out the real thing from the spam?"

The remaining 9.5 percent told us they didn't send any cards at all this year.

Based on 1,507 votes, December 2010. Add your vote to the poll, or join the discussion on PC Advisor's forums. Click here to see more PC Advisor polls.

See also:

Pictures: Games and gadgets of Christmas past

Online retailers 'unprepared' for Christmas

14% of Brits buy gifts online on Christmas Day