A letter to Santa from five countries analyzed using World Cloud Plus

Ray Poynter

Ray Poynter

3 mins

Guest blog by Olga Keating from Fastuna, 22 December 2022


In December, we launched a study using our Fastuna platform in 5 countries: USA, UK, Germany, Australia and Brazil. In each country, we asked 100 people about their happiest moment this year, and what they would ask Santa for. The people spoke and we translated their open-ended answers into a word cloud using World Cloud Plus – a new brainchild of Ray and William Poynter.

Question 1: Think back to your 2022. What is the most beautiful thing that happened to you personally?

“Coming to realization how important family really is” Female, 55

Word Cloud of best things in 2022

What better way to end this year than to think about all the wonderful things that happened during it. Let’s take a leaf out of the book of the US Thanksgiving traditions and recap what we are grateful for.

Using Word Cloud Plus, we quickly analyzed the open-ended responses. People are unanimously grateful for their families and especially for new additions to them. It is also wonderful to see the appreciation of partners, parents and other family members and friends. The tool is so flexible that I was able to quickly clean the cloud up and color code the words I wanted to group. Moreover most of the stop words are already preloaded. However, in the future it would be absolutely fantastic to be able to have a functionality of grouping words by themes, akin to what you do when manually coding open ends.

In order to get a better view of the sentiment these words and phrases carry, I could easily click on the word or phrase in question and see the verbatim behind it. For example, here are some of the verbatim ‘family’ opens up into:

“Spent time with my family” Male, 29

“I felt that through 2022 I grew closer to my friends and family.” Male, 22

“Watching my family grow and expand” Female, 25

Amongst other themes mentioned were people moving, traveling, making a big purchase like a car or a house and passing their exams.

Question 2: Imagine that you are writing a letter to Santa. What would you ask him for Christmas?

Word Cloud of what people want for Christmas

As you can see, there is a consensus on what’s important this year. Health, family and peace are amongst the main things people wish for.

One of the tweaks I would love to see is an ability to somehow consolidate all of the messages that have to do with one theme. For example, let’s look at ‘peace’. What is the best way to show that in a cloud? I don’t know! Because you want to show the variety and shades of the message at the same time as distilling it to the general theme. However, if I was coding it myself I would probably have it all under the ‘peace’ heading for my calculations. I would leave it in the capable hands of the creators of the tool.

Opening up the words in the cloud allows you to see the references they come from. Here are some of the things that people have said:

“Hello, Santa Claus! This year I just wanted health and peace!” Male, 21

“I would ask that my family have a happy year all round and that we will be healthy and protected.” Male, 51

“Being able to gather my whole family and dear friends who live far away from me.” Male, 28

Amongst other things, people wished for money in general and resolution to their money-related problems: bills paid, winning the lottery, financial stability, and reduced cost of living.

As for material things, they wished for a car, a house, and just lots of presents.


If you’d like to find out more about Fastuna and their research around Christmas 2022 check out their recent review of Christmas advertising from brands such as John Lewis, Old Spice, Coca-Cola and Chevrolet by clicking here.

If you’d like to submit a guest blog, showing how you have used Word Cloud Plus – just email ray@new-mr.com.