Given that Valentine’s Day is around the corner and I’ve already posted about Easter, I thought I would take a look at the other upcoming holidays. As part of this research, I found some fascinating stats on on number of greeting cards sent by occasion at I’ve added the table below.

Rank / Holiday Number of Cards Sent
1. Christmas 1.8 billion
(including boxed and individual cards)
2. Valentine’s Day 152 million
(not including classroom valentines)
3. Mother’s Day 141 million
4. Father’s Day 93 million
5. Easter 63 million
6. Thanksgiving 27 million
7. Halloween 26 million
8. St. Patrick’s Day 12 million

I was a little surprised to see Mother’s Day so high on the list. The fact that 50% more cards are sent on Mother’s Day vs. Father’s day is interesting as well. Also, according to Hallmark’s page on Mother’s Day, this is the largest card-sending holiday for the Hispanic community. As a quick test, I did a search on iStock for ‘Mother’s Day’ and sort by downloads – three of the top 5 images have ‘Latin American & Hispanic Ethnicity’ in their keywords.

iStock – Ordered by Downloads

Most Downloaded iStock Images with 'Mother's Day'

I also thought it would be interesting to take a look at the first row of results that get returned on the default search sort order from iStock, Getty, Corbis & Flickr

Corbis – Best Match

Corbis Mother's Day

Flickr – Relevance

Flickr Mother's Day

Getty Images – Default Sort

Getty Images - Mother's Day Search Results

iStockphoto – Best Match

iStock Photo - Mother's Day Search Results

In general, there’s a similar feel to the stock images but Flickr stands out with the dominance of floral shots in the top search results. Not sure what to make of that pattern but I wouldn’t recommend shooting more flowers. The agencies have more than enough of those.

In terms of what wasn’t there, I was a little surprised not to see more ‘breakfast in bed’ and ‘mum chilling out’ type shots. Another odd thing to me was that there were virtually no men in any of the shots. Given than 2007 was a peak in US history for new births, I thought I’d see more ‘young mother & husband & baby’ images.

Things to Note

  • Mother’s Day in the USA is Sunday, May 9th in 2010 (if seasonal microstock trends hold, then 2-3 months before is the time to start uploading)
  • Gifts, cards, brunch & flowers are the top related search keywords

I’d love to hear your perspectives on what has and hasn’t worked in your mother’s day shots. In any case, I’m going to make sure I don’t short change my Dad this year.