Back in the late 1990’s, one of my main collecting specialties was in the stamps and postal history of the Åland Islands, a small group situated between Sweden and Finland. That collection is long gone, but I still pay attention to the territory’s new releases. Åland released a single Christmas stamp on 9 October 2014 entitled “Emma’s Christmas Dream,” designed by Emelie Hage. The press release provides extra details:
Three Christmas stamps were released by Ireland on 6 November 2014. The 68c self-adhesive stamp features a photograph of a little girl of St. Joseph’s Nursery in Dublin singing carols while the other two stamps feature portions of stained glass windows designed by Harry Clarke. These are “The Infant Christ” and “Angel With A Lute.”
Monaco’s 2014 Christmas stamp was released on 3rd November and illustrates “The Adoration of the Magi,” a painting by the Italian artist Taddeo di Bartolo. The Adoration of the Magi is the name traditionally given to the subject in the Nativity of Jesus in art in which the three Magi, represented as kings, especially in the West, having found Jesus by following a star, lay before him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and worship him.
On the church calendar, this event is commemorated in Western Christianity as the Feast of the Epiphany (January 6). The Orthodox Church commemorates the Adoration of the Magi on the Feast of the Nativity (December 25).
Regardless of your religious affiliation or the manner in which you celebrate (if at all) the Christmas season, I hope you are enjoying a look at the beautiful art created on these bits of paper we call postage stamps. If you would like to spread a little holiday cheer and send me a postcard or letter with a nice Christmas stamp affixed, I’d be very appreciative. My mailing address can be found below.
8/1 Suthas Soi 2
T. Talat Yai
A. Muang Phuket
Estonia released this pair of lovely stamps picturing Christmas ornaments on 20 November 2014. They are my second favorite holiday stamp I’ve seen so far this year (following the Finnish Santa Claus special stamp). The Eesti Post press release states:
Christmas time is still the most important holiday celebrated in Estonia. For Estonians, Christmas is a mixture of the traditional, the modern, the secular, and the religious. Like in other Nordic states, Estonia’s celebration of Christmas mostly falls on Christmas Eve, however Christmas season starts in Advent with people buying Advent calendars or lighting Advent candles.
On 27 October 2014, Canada released three stamps portraying Santa Claus performing some of his duties and are denominated for Canadian, US and international postal rates. “In each of the three figures, the kindness and generosity of Santa emerges”, says stamp designer Hélène L’Heureux. “Whether he’s answering letters, handing out gifts, or simply expressing peace and serenity, Santa is endearing, merry and timeless”.
Today I enjoyed the second of two straight days off due to student cancellations. I was able to spend some rare time off relaxing and even did a bit of Christmas shopping for myself. I’ve been extremely busy with various projects over the past few weeks and the rest of the ten days remaining until Christmas will be just as busy if not more so. In fact, my next day off will be the 26th of December (yes, I will be working both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day). I cancelled my lessons for Boxing Day because it is the 10th anniversary of the Indian Ocean tsunami and I intend to mark the day in a couple of different ways.
Finland issued a special Santa Claus stamp in a very low quantity – 120,000 – on 17 November 2014. It is definitely my favorite holiday stamp of 2014. I’ve been attempting to find on on eBay to no avail, so I may end up ordering directly from the Finnish Post. However, their online shop only sells the stamp in full sheets of ten which would cost 18 Euros which is a bit above my current stamp-buying budget.
Greenland issued their 2014 Christmas stamps on 20th October. Designed by Lisbeth Karline, the kr 10 and kr 11,50 stamps depict images from a popular annual television special called “Christmas Greetings to Greenland.” The stamps are sold in a booklet of twelve with a total face value of 129 Danish krona.