World Stamps

Christmas stamps emphasize connection and safety during the pandemic

Dec 9, 2020, 10 AM

New Stamps of the World by Denise McCarty

Ireland’s new Christmas stamps combine the traditional with the contemporary, ranging from the Nativity to a video call.

The six stamps were issued Nov. 20. In announcing them, An Post (Ireland’s post office) said that they “show some new traditions that have become part of ‘living with Covid’ including home baking with the family, online calls with family & friends and a postperson [letter carrier] checking in with an older customer, as well as an angel and a traditional nativity scene.”

All six stamps are nondenominated. Four pay the domestic, or national, rate (currently €1), which is indicated by the letter “N” on the stamps. The other two are for the international, or worldwide, mail rate (currently €1.70) and are inscribed “W.”

One religious-themed stamp is included for each rate. Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus are pictured on the domestic-rate stamp, and an angel announcing the birth of Jesus is shown on the stamp for international mail.

The other international-rate stamp features two couples sharing a drink virtually and chatting online. One couple is sitting in their house, while the other appears on the computer screen.

The three domestic-rate stamps depict a woman and her dog greeting a letter carrier, a mom in a reindeer sweater watching her children make Christmas treats, and a snow-covered village at night. In the last design, Santa Claus and his reindeer are flying over the village, while a fox leaves paw prints in the snow on the street below.

Liz Rackard illustrated the stamps, and Detail Design Studio designed them.

Joh. Enschede of the Netherlands printed these self-adhesive Christmas stamps by lithography. The national-rate stamps are sold in booklets of five and booklets of 20, and the international-rate stamps are in a booklet of five.

Bahamas

The four Christmas stamps issued Dec. 3 by the Bahamas offer tips for staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Each stamp is inscribed “We will stay safe.”

The 15¢ stamp also is inscribed “With a mask.” It shows three people wearing face masks with different designs: Christmas bells, a red cross and a reindeer, respectively.

Social distancing is represented on the 50¢ stamp, which pictures a Christmas tree standing between a man and a woman.

The 65¢ stamp shares the message of “covering coughs & sneezes,” and also depicts a family of three preparing to eat a turkey dinner.

Completing the set is a 70¢ stamp showing a man in a Santa hat washing his hands.

Andrew Robinson designed the stamps. Cartor, a security printer in France, printed them by lithography in sheets of 20.

In announcing the stamps, Pobjoy Mint, the new-issue agent for the Bahamas, said: “This year, as Bahamians prepare to celebrate, we know that things will be very different and this is reflected in our Christmas stamp issue, which both celebrates Christmas and reminds us of the simple things that we can all do to help keep our loved ones safe.”

Guernsey

Guernsey Post also delivers a message about celebrating safely this holiday season on its computer-produced self-adhesive postage labels called “post & go.”

The six Bailiwick Fishing Boats labels originally issued Feb. 12 were overprinted “Wishing you a safe Christmas.” Kiosks at the main post office in St. Peter Port dispensed these overprinted labels from Dec. 1-24.

Bridget Yabsley, head of philately at Guernsey Post, said: “Our Post & Go stamps continue to be really popular and so once again we’ve added a festive message. However, during these unusual times we felt it appropriate to wish everyone a safe Christmas.”

In addition to the overprinted labels, Guernsey Post celebrated the holidays on seven Christmas stamps issued Oct. 28 showing Santa, his reindeer and elves enjoying the island’s sights and wintertime activities.

Brazil

The designs of Brazil’s Christmas stamps use words to try to connect people during the holidays. The issue is called “Christmas – Words of Affection.”

Christina Habli Brandao Dutra of Correios (Brazil’s post office) said in a press release: “There are 10 words, 10 stamps, 10 displays of affection that convey the feeling and look of a handmade work in different textures, silhouettes, shapes and meanings to bring those who are far away closer.”

Each stamp features a different word in Portuguese. According to Correios, the English translations for the 10 words are love, gratitude, missing, smile, stiff neck, happiness, hugs, cuddle, faith, and life energy.

Lucas Elias designed the stamps. The Brazilian Mint printed them by offset.

The 10 stamps were issued Oct. 28 in a pane of 20 (two of each design). The stamps are nondenominated, paying the basic rate for domestic mail (currently 2.05 reals).

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