Christmas stamps 2015: Norway

Since the 1870s, Christmas post and Christmas cards have been an important part of the Norwegian Christmas tradition. Letters and cards to family and friends are part of the preparations during Advent, and Christmas cards are treated like important memories.

The first Christmas card was sent in Norway in 1870. In Europe Christmas cards had been a common method for greeting family and friends for a while before it reached us. At first, European cards were simply copied and given a Norwegian text. The first Norwegian-produced cards had winter motifs, and there were often skiers in the motif as well. In addition to birds in a sheaf of wheat, the pig was a frequent Christmas card motif.

When “Der Weihnachtsmann” and “Santa Claus” made their entrance into European Christmas celebrations, we were quick to follow, and Santa Claus became a very popular motif. After a while many of the cards had humorous motifs. Many of the Santa cards to Kjell Aukrust are very popular collector’s items and draw high prices at auctions, and Aukrust himself was particularly gifted at giving his cards a humorous touch.

Christmas stamps are more recent. Austria issued the first Christmas stamp in 1948, which was a commemorative stamp for the hymn, “Merry Christmas”. The first Norwegian stamp for Christmas post was issued in 1971.

Olav Bø, a professor in folklore, wrote a book about “Our Norwegian Christmas” more than thirty years ago. In the chapter about Christmas preparations, he had a separate section entitled “Christmas post”. Bø commented that sending cards at Christmastime was an important part of the holiday’s preparations, together with the Lucia celebration, the baking of Christmas goodies, family, beer-brewing, light-hanging and present-wrapping. Christmas presents and the Christmas tree are the motif on this year’s Christmas stamps. They will have decorated many Christmas cards before the joyous day arrives.

Christmas Stamps

NK 1923-1924
Date of issue: 13 November 2015
Values and subjects: A Domestic: Christmas tree
A Domestic: Christmas parcel
Design: Kristin Granli
Method of printing: Offset
Printing house: Joh. Enschedé Security Print

Christmas stamps 2015: Greenland

One of the best things about the holiday season is getting to see some of the festive stamps from around the world.

Here are this year’s holiday stamps from the country closest to the North Pole, Greenland:

From the artist:

greenlandxmaspolarbears“To me, Christmas means that you are together and having fun with those closest to you. In these busy times, Christmas is a breathing space in which we can remind ourselves that we should be thankful for the good things we have and the love we enjoy from our loved ones. Christmas is the time when the cold of winter is cancelled out by heart-felt warmth and caring for each other. These things I have tried to illustrate on the two Christmas stamps.”

About the artist

greenlandxmaspeopleChristian Fleischer Rex was born in Næstved and raised in Nuuk. He was trained as an animator at the Animation Workshop in Viborg in 2000. Since then he has worked on various cartoons in Denmark and Europe – including Asterix and the Vikings. Together with Lars Frederik Andersen, Christian owns and operates the production company Deluxus Studio that delivers advertising and promotional materials in the form of movies, photos, illustrations and animation for businesses and institutions.

Christmas stamps 2015: Christmas Island

From Australia Post:

This year’s Christmas Island Christmas stamp issue has taken a humorous approach to linking the festive theme to the island’s name.

Located in the Indian Ocean some 2,600 kilometres northwest of Perth, Christmas Island is the sole peak of an underwater mountain range rising above the ocean’s surface. The island came under Australian control in 1958, but Australia Post has produced its stamps only since 1993. Over recent years, the Christmas Island Christmas issue has taken a humorous approach to linking to the island’s name.

Red Crabs (Gecarcoidea natalis) are a familiar sight on Christmas Island, and they make a strong appearance in this Christmas stamp issue. Like dexterous circus performers mimicking a human pyramid, they stack themselves into a Christmas tree in the island’s forested interior. Atop the crab-tree an Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica natalis) is poised, with a string of tinsel in its beak.

In the other stamp, the comical Red Crabs hail the presence of a tropical, if not also oxymoronic, snowman – the northern hemisphere symbol having been transported to the isle in the sunny south.

Red Crabs (Gecarcoidea natalis) are a familiar sight on Christmas Island, and they make a strong appearance in this Christmas stamp issue. Like dexterous circus performers mimicking a human pyramid, they stack themselves into a Christmas tree in the island’s forested interior. Atop the crab-tree an Emerald Dove (Chalcophaps indica natalis) is poised, with a string of tinsel in its beak.

In the other stamp, the comical Red Crabs hail the presence of a tropical, if not also oxymoronic, snowman – the northern hemisphere symbol having been transported to the isle in the sunny south.

Source: Set of Christmas Island Christmas 2015 stamps – Australia Post Shop

Postal Service Offers Holiday-Themed Stamps

WASHINGTON — The Postal Service has more than a billion Holiday themed stamps in stock from previous years, and has printed 800 million more to help Americans celebrate this year’s holiday season.

Customers may purchase them now at usps.com/shop at this link or by calling 1-800-STAMP24 (1-800-782-6724).

“This is an exciting time of year when Americans share greetings with family, friends and loved ones,” said Postal Service Stamp Services Acting Director Mary-Anne Penner. “Our vast assortment of holiday-themed stamps are sure to fit everyone’s needs. And by ordering them online, you can save a trip to the Post Office.” Continue reading

New Forever Geometric Snowflakes stamps bring holiday color and cheer

NEW YORK — Post Offices across America are experiencing a blizzard of new Forever stamps today with the introduction of the Geometric Snowflakes Forever stamps.

Available in booklets of 20, the stamps can be purchased on usps.com at this link, at eBay at thislink, by calling 1800STAMP 24 (1-800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide.

“With these four commemorative Forever stamps we’re presenting today, we hope to capture the art and the science of the snowflake and preserve it forever,” said U.S. Postal Service Northeast Area Operations Vice President Richard Uluski in dedicating the stamps. “These bright, cheerful stamps bring a whimsical splash to holiday cards, thank-you notes, invitations, greeting cards and any mailing that calls for a touch of warmth during the coldest months of the year.”

The law of physics makes each snowflake unique and each of the four stamps depicts a different snowflake. When it snows, millions of ice crystals form unique patterns that are as stunning in their complexity as they are fleeting. Stamp designers were inspired by the different shapes. Each snowflake is drawn in one of four colors: purple, pink, green or blue. Applying light and dark shades of color enhanced the intricate geometry of each flake and added a feeling of playfulness to the stamp art.

Forever stamps are always be equal to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price. The stamps were designed by Antonio Alcalá and Leslie Badani of Alexandria, VA.
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Charlie Brown Christmas Forever stamps to be issued October 1

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service begins celebrating the holiday season by dedicating the Charlie Brown Christmas Forever stamps Oct. 1. The booklet of 20 stamps features 10 still frames from the 1965 TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas”(two of each design) celebrating the classic’s 50th anniversary.

The official dedication ceremony will take place at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, CA, at 9 a.m. PT. The event is free and open to the public and the stamps will be available nationwide that day. Customers may pre-order the stamps now through this link only for delivery shortly after Oct. 1. Continue reading