US Stamps

1947 Christmas message expressed in rhyme

Jan 16, 2023, 8 AM
Christmas greetings on the back of this 1¢ Jefferson postal card illuminate 1947 events for less than the cost of a candy cane.

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

Christmas greetings don’t usually stray into the subjects of international relations or politics, but the 1¢ Jefferson postal card shown front and back here recently called out to me from a dealer’s box. Canceled on Dec. 17, 1947, its message reflects the sender’s views of the times with this post-war year-in-review:

Though ol Joe Stalin bars the way

To world-wide peace this Christmas day,

Though Ities fight and Frenchies scrap

To change the economic map.

Though ships crammed full of refugees

Are blocked by British on the seas,

And Marshall’s plan may strip us bare

By sending Europe food to share.

We discount all this stress and strife.

Continue with our peaceful life.

And as its been our wont to do,

We send our yearly wish to you.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I am struck by the fact that the card and printing probably cost the senders a total of 2¢ per recipient. As I write this, just the stamp to mail a postcard would cost 44¢ (it will be 48¢ on Jan. 22), and most greetings are sent by greeting cards in envelopes with a total cost of several dollars per recipient. Ah, progress.

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