Postal Updates

USPS rolling out holiday postmarks, with seven designs for designated cities

Nov 13, 2017, 7 AM

Postmark Pursuit — By Michael Baadke

The United States Postal Service has revealed that it will use spray-on postmarks with a Happy Holidays theme during the Christmas season.

Eight postmarks are being created this year, with seven of those designated for use in specific cities.

All eight postmarks show a silhouette of Santa flying across the sky in a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. The phrase “Happy Holidays” appears in script next to the sleigh.

Connect with Linn’s Stamp News: 

    Sign up for our newsletter
    Like us on Facebook
    Follow us on Twitter

A postmark designated for nationwide use includes a tree-filled landscape below the airborne sleigh.

That national postmark will be used in stamp canceling equipment from Nov. 26 to Jan. 5, 2018, according to the Postal Service.

The remaining seven postmarks are similar, but with a different city scene below for each.

The city skylines depicted are recognizable as showing Pittsburgh, Pa.; St. Louis, Mo.; Dallas, Texas; New York, N.Y.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; and Seattle, Wash.

Elements of each local postmark design make it possible to identify the skyline, such as the Space Needle in the Seattle postmark or the Gateway Arch in the St. Louis postmark.

In the information provided by the Postal Service, there were no instructions given for requesting a pictorial cancel from a specific city.

Collectors interested in obtaining all of the local cancels could try sending addressed and stamped letter mail under separate cover to the postmaster in each designated city, along with an accompanying note asking that the mail be postmarked locally with the spray-on Happy Holidays cancel.

Post office addresses can be found online

Spray-on postmarks are applied automatically to mail by the U.S. distribution centers using ultra-high-speed equipment. Depending on the machinery used, the result is not always crisp and clean.

A single holiday postmark used during the Christmas season in 2016 consisted of words and phrases associated with the holidays, such as “Joy,” “Season’s Greetings” and “Happy New Year.”

Spray-on markings from 2014 featured characters from the 1964 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer television special, corresponding to a set of four Christmas stamps issued that year.

Instructions for requesting postmarks

Linn’s subscribers can see complete instructions for requesting postmarks here.