US Stamps

Christmas Philatelic Club celebrates 50th anniversary

Nov 27, 2019, 9 AM
Several articles in the Dec. 16 monthly issue of Linn's Stamp News feature Christmas stamps like these to illustrate holiday subjects.

Philatelic Foreword by Jay Bigalke

The Dec. 16 monthly issue of Linn’s offers several entertaining Christmas holiday articles. While previewing these pieces before publication, I learned something new from each one. I hope the same is true for you.

This month John Hotchner’s U.S. Stamp Notes column takes a brief departure from the regular expertizing column to examine the controversy around the United States 1965 5¢ Christmas stamp. The stamp’s design is based on a watercolor showing a church’s 1840 weather vane that features the figure of the angel Gabriel with a trumpet.

In the Great Britain Philately column, Matthew Healey discusses how in the early 20th century many people in Great Britain wanted their holiday greetings to be delivered on Dec. 25, and he details how the Post Office worked to accommodate that request.

Ken Lawrence, in Covering the World, illustrates and writes about a U.S. 1911 holiday season cover with an unusual precancel overprint.

Linn’s senior editor Denise McCarty contributes two holiday-related features. In the New Stamps of the World column, she looks at the different ways light is illustrated on this year’s Christmas stamps. For the single-page topical feature, McCarty selected 10 stamps picturing Santa Claus’ mail.

The Christmas Philatelic Club that specializes in this area of collecting is coincidentally celebrating a milestone this year. It was founded 50 years ago, in 1969, by Kenneth W. Mackenzie.

A sentence on the club’s website summarizes what it is about: “The Christmas Philatelic Club (CPC) is a group of dedicated philatelists, specializing in all types of Christmas philatelic material.”

Holiday gift ideas

Shopping for a stamp collector can sometimes be a challenge, especially when the person doing the shopping is a family member or friend who is not a collector.

Thoughtful gifts for collectors can range widely in price.

Every year since I was 8 years old, my parents would purchase for me the new U.S. stamp yearbook. The latest edition from the U.S. Postal Service would make a good gift for those who collect new issues.

Many foreign postal administrations also publish annual yearbooks.

Another suggestion is giving the gift of a year’s membership in a stamp society that is of interest to the collector.

For those who like to give an experience gift, it could be as simple as spending time with the collector and learning about the hobby from him or her, and perhaps also accompanying the collector to a local club meeting or show. At the other end of the price range, it could mean paying (or partially paying) expenses for a collector to attend a major stamp show in the United States or perhaps even arranging a trip to visit London during the May 2-9, 2020, stamp exhibition.

I will end with a little self-promotion: A subscription to Linn’s, the latest editions of the Scott catalogs or a new stamp album are also great gift ideas.

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