Each year we feature a small selection of stamps issued by countries that celebrate Christmas. We begin with an example from Sweden, complete with a Goldfinch (Steglits) and a Yellowhammer (Gulsparv) observing children building a snowman.
Gibraltar’s offering is a six-stamp sheet showing sheet music for various Christmas carols. The word carol comes from the French word carole, meaning circle dance, or song of praise and joy. The singing of carols did not originate with Christianity, but with the pagan practice of celebrating the seasons. There are historical records from as early as 129 AD of songs written specifically for Christmas celebrations. These Christmas songs were primarily written in Latin, and were not called Carols, but hymns.
Also with a musical theme, the Cayman Islands have a jaunty, guitar playing Father Christmas and a drum-thumping reindeer.
The stamps above were issued as part of “Christmas Mail to Baby Jesus”, a unique project organised by Slovak Post and a major part of the Christmas festivities in Slovakia. Via the Slovak Post programme children can send their secret wishes, ideas for presents, drawings or greetings to Baby Jesus at the address “Ježiško 999 99”. Since the project launched, more than 1.7 million letters from children all around the world have been sent to Baby Jesus. An actual reply from Baby Jesus plus a little surprise in the envelope never ceases to provide joy and delight in children’s hearts. The coupon motif on the stamp adjoining that of the Christmas tree are dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Good News project managed by eRko – Children Christian Communities Movement.
Lithuania produced two stamps, one depicting a popular Christmas dish – poppy milk – and the other what appears to be a singing sheep.
A colourful offering from the Bahamas Postal Service with the subject ‘Chrismas Bells’.
Angels over Pitcairn is the theme for the Islands’ 2019 Christmas stamps. Angels are often defined in art as having extraordinary beauty and are frequently identified with wings, halos and light. Naturally the ‘Bounty Post’ logo is also present.
The Republic of Belarus issued a very attractive stamp set with a more lighthearted approach to the festive season: “Jolly Kalyady!”, “Merry Christmas!” and “Happy New Year!” The relevance of the letters on the stamps are: “A” is equal to the tariff of a letter up to 20 gram within Belarus. Letter “M” is equal to the air-mail tariff of a postcard abroad and the letter “H” is equal to the surface tariff of a letter up to 20 gram abroad.
There are many more examples of Christmas stamps from 2019 and previous years on the postbeeld.com website if you have time to browse. For a unique stamp design I thoroughly recommend you look at Alderney’s 2019 Christmas stamps, the theme being ‘The Christmas Story’.