It’s Christmas Eve and we’ve come to the end the “12 Days Of Christmas Stamps” for 2014. I hope that you’ve enjoyed the stamps I’ve selected to highlight this year. For the final installment, I decided that I couldn’t leave out the Australian territory of Christmas Island. Located in the Indian Ocean some 2,600 kilometers north-west of Perth, the lush tropical island was named by Captain William Mynors who made the first sighting on Christmas Day in 1643. Christmas Island holiday stamps are traditionally a light-hearted and humorous depiction of Santa Claus enjoying festivities on the island with the various creatures, including crabs and birds, that the island is renowned for.
Christmas Island released it’s 2014 Yuletide stamps on 31 October in several different formats but with two basic designs. The stamps feature a visit to the island by Santa Claus and he is portrayed pausing on the beach alongside the tropical rainforest to exchange gifts with an assortment of the local wildlife residents. The 65-cent postcard rate stamp shows Santa holding one of the famous red crabs which is offering a gift. These are the crabs that overwhelm the island in a sea of red each year as they migrate to and from the ocean.
The $1.80 international rate stamp is dominated by a robber crab holding his gift (a coconut, perhaps) high in its claws. The lovely souvenir sheet containing these two stamps expands on the scene and we see an Abbot’s Booby standing guard while one of Santa’s reindeer waits patiently next to the sleigh, a red crab perched upon his nose. We also see that the starfish have decorated a piece of volcanic rock or coral with ornaments that have washed up on the beach. The island’s name is spelt out with pieces of driftwood and sea shells. It’s a beautiful and humorous design well-executed by Australia Post’s Gavin Ryan.
The stamps were released in sheets of 50 with traditional lick-and-stick gum, self-adhesive sheets of ten for the 65c stamp and sheets of five for the $1.80 stamp, in addition to the miniature sheet incorporating both designs. I really need to add these to my collection! The nice thing about building a collection of Christmas-themed stamps is that you can celebrate the holidays throughout the year.
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