US Stamps

Youth art on November cartoon caption contest stamp

Oct 26, 2021, 10 AM

U.S. Stamp Notes by John M. Hotchner

If Santa Claus were to come down the chimney and see the November cartoon caption contest stamp on an envelope, he might not recognize himself.

This is because the image on this 1984 20¢ Christmas stamp (Scott 2108) was drawn in crayon by 7-year-old Danny LaBoccetta, who was a third-grader at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Jamaica, N.Y., at the time. He was in fifth grade when the stamp was issued on Oct. 30, 1984.

LaBoccetta’s drawing was one of 500,000 entries submitted in 1982 as part of a nationwide contest sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service to come up with two designs for U.S. stamps.

The other winner was high school senior Molly LaRue, whose Family Unity design was featured on a 20¢ stamp issued Oct. 1, 1984 (Scott 2104). That stamp is shown here.

The challenge for Linn’s readers in this month’s contest is to imagine yourself as the figure of LaBoccetta’s Santa Claus and to tell me what you might be saying or thinking as you contemplate your appearance on the stamp or your next round of visits to the world’s children.

You can comment on stamp collecting, youth art, Santa’s allure, politics, the cost of presents or whatever else comes to mind.

Entries with a touch of humor or irony stand the best chance of winning the contest.

There will be two prizes given to the winners: one for the best philatelic line and one for the best nonphilatelic line.

Put your entry (or entries) on a postcard if possible and send it to me, John Hotchner, Cartoon Contest, Box 1125, Falls Church, VA 22041-0125; or email it to If you send an email, it is essential that you include your postal mailing address.

For each winner, the prize will be a 13-week subscription to Linn’s (a new subscription or an extension).

Entries must reach me no later than Nov. 26.

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