NEW YORK , Oct.12, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — St. Nick begins navigating the nation’s mail stream tomorrow to the tune of 750 million Santa and Sleigh Forever stamps. The stamp art was inspired by the 1823 poem by Clement C. Moore , “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” also known as “The Night Before Christmas” or “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
Available nationwide Saturday, Oct. 13 , in booklets of 20, the stamps can be purchased online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724).
The 10 a.m. Saturday first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony, free and open to the public, takes place at the Sunset Terrace of the Sky Rink at Chelsea Piers, Pier 61 – 23rd St. and the Hudson River in New York City .
Joining U.S. Postal Service Northeast Area Vice President Richard Uluski in dedicating the stamps will be 2002 Olympic figure skating gold medalist Sarah Hughes .
“The issuance of a new American stamp is always a thrilling and historical event,” said Hughes, “and I am excited that the use of the Santa and Sleigh Forever stamps will help the nation celebrate the holiday season.”
“For the past 50 years, the Postal Service has issued Christmas-themed stamps,” said Uluski, “And it’s no surprise that since our first 4-cent Christmas ‘Wreath and Candles’ stamp was issued back in 1962, all of our holiday stamps — 102 to date — have been extremely popular. What makes these new Santa and Sleigh stamps truly unique is that this is the first time we’ve ever had a continuous picture across four Christmas stamps.”
Holiday stamps represent nearly 10 percent of all stamp sales with more than 90 billion printed since 1962. Originally drawn in pencil on paper, the image portrays Santa Claus flying through the air in his sleigh. With a cargo of toys and gifts produced in his workshop by elves, he lands on the rooftop of house after house and slides down the chimney to leave presents for girls and boys of all ages.
Paul Rogers of Pasadena, CA , was the stamp artist working under the direction of Howard Paine of Delaplane, VA , to create the stamp images.
Customers may view the Santa and Sleigh Forever stamps, as well as many of this year’s other stamps, indicate which stamps they like and vote for their favorite stamp on Facebook at facebook.com/USPSStamps, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on Beyond the Perf at beyondtheperf.com/2012-preview. Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.
How to Obtain the First-Day-of-Issue Postmark
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at a local Post Office, at The USPS Store website at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others and place them in larger envelopes addressed to:
Santa and Sleigh Stamp Booklet
421 Eighth Ave., Rm. 2029B
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 the postmark. All orders must be postmarked by Dec. 13 .
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 www.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
Eight philatelic products are available for this stamp issue:
- 679863, First-Day Cover set of 4, $3.56 .
- 679868, Digital Color Postmark (DCP) set of 4, $6.40
- 679872, Letters to Santa Children’s Book, $9.99 .
- 679884, Uncut Press Sheet (without die cut), $90.00 .
(Print Quantity of 5,000)
- 679886, Uncut Press Sheet (mini-sheet) without die cut, $27.00 .
(Print Quantity of 5,000)
- 679891, Ceremony Program (random single), $6.95 .
- 679899, Cancellation Keepsake (DCP Set of 4 w/Pane) $15.95 .
- 891213, Letters to Santa Holiday Ornament, $14.99 .