Before we continue with this article featuring a selection of 2020 Christmas stamps, I would like to take the opportunity to offer seasonal greetings from all of the staff here at PostBeeld to all readers of the Freestampmagazine and all visitors to the PostBeeld Webshop and Freestampcatalogue.
The Serbian offering for 2020 at the top of the article has a traditionally religious theme, whilst that from Sweden shown below is in complete contrast. It’s a beautifully illustrated 10-stamp booklet which children might find particularly attractive.
And the tree with baubles is part of this year’s Christmas stamp programme from Estonia.
Belgium's festive offering features Speculaas, a baked biscuit that uses gingerbread spices. It is a popular cookie around the Sinterklaas period in Belgium and The Netherlands (November/December). According to ancient sources, it was also popular with weddings and fairs. The stamp on the left has a carved wooden board with a Sinterklaas figure and cinnamon sticks and that on the right has a Santa Claus-shaped speculaas biscuit with gingerbread spices, including cloves and star anise.
Glogg is a traditional element of Christmas celebrations in Åland, and the stamp above left shows a glass of steaming hot glogg. The Christmas tradition of serving glogg in small cups with almonds and raisins developed in the early 1900s. The most common spices in glogg are cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and bitter orange. Glogg comes in many varieties and is available both with and without alcohol. ‘Julpost’ translates into Christmas mail. The stamp on the right has a jar containing home-made ’knäck’ toffee, a traditional treat when celebrating Christmas in Åland. ‘Knäck’ has been made since the 1800s, at least, and consists of equal parts of syrup, sugar and cream that simmer in a saucepan. Chopped almond is often used for flavouring before it is poured into tiny crimped paper moulds.
This stamp issue from the island of St. Helena, a British Overseas Territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean, features a collection of Bible-themed artwork depicting the Angel Gabriel, Baby Jesus, Shepherds in a Field looking towards the Star over Bethlehem, and the Three Wise Men. The stamps were designed by local artist Anna Henry.