NEW YORK — The Postal Service is helping customers prepare for the holiday season today by dedicating festive domestic and international Forever stamps. A first-day-of-issue ceremony for the Winter Fun domestic stamps and the Global Holiday: Silver Bells Wreath International stamp was held at the American Stamp Dealers Association National Postage Stamp Show 2014.
“As these stamps grace envelopes that travel around the world this holiday season, we hope they will also deliver messages of love, peace and joy to those receiving their holiday mail,” said U.S. Postal Service Global Business Vice President Gisele Valera in dedicating the stamps. “The new Global Holiday: Silver Bells Wreath Forever stamp can be used to mail a 1-ounce letter to any country where First-Class Mail International service is available — ideal for extending seasonal greetings to your friends in other countries,” she said. “And, our new Winter Fun stamps convey the joyful spirit of the holiday season while sending cheerful greetings for any occasion all winter long when mailing in the U.S.”
Customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide or visit ebay.com/stamps to shop for a wide variety of postage stamps and collectibles.
Painting with acrylic on plywood, artist Janet Atkinson created the design of the two ice skaters using a dry brush technique to give the illustration a textured, folk art feel. She explains that she used a soft, muted palette for her stylized design in an effort to “create an uplifting winter image and evoke harmony and joy.”
Artist Jing Jing Tsong drew and then digitally composed the art for the snowman and snow angel stamps. With these designs, Tsong says she hoped to capture “the magic of new snowfall and the joy of being in a moment that will melt away all too soon.” Using bold colors and simplified details, she depicts a person joyfully creating a snow angel and another affixing a carrot nose to a well-crafted snowman.
In a simple scene prominently featuring a bright red northern cardinal, artist Christine Roy highlights the contrast between the bird’s plumage and the snowy background. Beginning with sketches and then moving to digital manipulation, she added her distinctive touch of texture to the design. “Cardinals have always seemed like a wonderful symbol of carrying on during winter,” explained Roy.
The Global Holiday: Silver Bells Wreath International Forever stamp was created under the art direction William Gicker. Michael Owens designed the stamp and constructed the wreath, which Sally Andersen-Bruce photographed. Angelica Dennis created the bow. The $1.15 Global Forever Stamp is round and bears the words “Global Forever.”
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. The new stamps may be purchased at local Post Offices, at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. Customers interested in the first-day postmark should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes (to themselves or others), and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
Winter Fun Stamp
Special Events Coordinator
380 West 33rd.St. Room 4032
New York, NY 10199-9998
Global Forever: Silver Bells Wreath Stamp
Special Events Coordinator
380 West 33rd. St. Rm. 4032
New York NY 10199-9998
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for postmarks up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, there is a charge of 5 cents each. All orders must be postmarked by Dec. 22, 2014.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
Seven Philatelic products are available for the Winter Fun stamps.
689810, Keepsake (Booklet and Digital Color Postmark Set of 4), $16.95
689816, First Day Cover Set of 4, $3.72
689821, Digital Color Postmark Set of 4, $6.56
689830, Ceremony Program (random stamp), $6.95
689831, Stamp Deck Card, $0.95
Eight philatelic products are available for the Global Forever: Silver Bells Wreath stamp.
588310, Keepsake (Pane and Digital Color Set), $13.95
588316. First Day Cover $1.59
588321, Digital Color Postmark $2.30
588330, Ceremony Program $6.95
588331, Stamp Deck Card $0.95
588332, Stamp Deck Card with Digital Color Postmark $2.65