It took a couple of years of packages that never arrived and frustrations over extremely high shipping costs to convince my sister and I that annual holiday exchanges between Kansas and Thailand were more trouble than they were worth. Since 2008 or so, the majority of our exchanges have been the online variety.
But every once in a while, I’m shocked by some morsel in the morning mail delivery. Whatever it may be, it always reaffirms my belief that my sister is the smartest and most thoughtful person currently living (having inherited those qualities from our dearly-departed mother). This year, Marilyn truly outdid herself…
Continue reading “Most Thoughtful Gifts”
This is my tenth consecutive Christmas in Thailand and they keep getting better. While there were a few stray decorated trees to be seen during my first few holidays here, each year seems to bring more and more signs of Yuletide spirit. The shopping mall where I work has slowly been adding decorations ever since the giant tree went up outside just before Halloween. As I strolled through the mall following my Christmas Eve classes, I saw plenty of images of Santa Claus and Christmas trees with enough Buddhist symbols to remind one exactly where you are. My favorite Thai variation is that instead of Mrs. Clause, we have “Santy” who seems to be Santa’s mia noi (mistress).
There are two photo albums after the break – the first illustrates my school’s holiday party this past weekend while the second features photos shot around the mall last night.
Continue reading “Merry Christmas from Phuket, Thailand!”
While ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol are my favorite pieces of holiday prose, over the past couple of years I’ve found myself accumulating variations on “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. I even attempted to write my own philatelic rendition but gave up after just a few lines:
On the first day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me
A British Penny Black stamp.
On the second day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me
Two Baby Zeppelins and a British Penny Black stamp…
Continue reading “The 12 Days Of Christmas – Variations”
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.
Continue reading “The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 12 – Christmas Island”
With just two days to go before the holiday, I have just received my first Christmas card for 2014. Appropriately enough, it was sent from the administrators of the only online stamp collectors’ forum that I am a member of, Stamp Bears. The envelope was franked with one of the new Silver Bells Wreath Global Forever stamps released a couple of months ago, postmarked with … Continue reading First Christmas Card for 2014!
Spain has been issuing Christmas stamps ever since 1955 and the latest set of two – one in a classic style, the other more modern – were released on 11 November.
The Class A stamp bears the image of a stained-glass window depicting a typical scene of the birth of Baby Jesus, with the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph. It is accompanied by the message “Merry Christmas” written in the four official languages spoken in Spain. Cold foil was added to the stamp to accentuate the colours and give greater depth to the stained-glass image.
Continue reading “The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 11 – Spain, Poland & Austria”
On 13 November 2014, Liechtenstein released three stamps that in my opinion are additional candidates for the most beautiful Christmas stamps of this year. Featuring mountain chapels, they are even more stunning on their official maximum cards. The following description comes from the postal service’s press release:
Continue reading “The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 10 – Liechtenstein & Cyprus”
Switzerland released a set of four festive stamps on 13 November depicting Santa Claus, holiday cookies, an advent wreath, and a crib. They were designed by graphic artist Dominique Rossier from Puidoux, above Vevey. The press release from WOPA provides a wealth of information:
Continue reading “The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 9 – Switzerland & Brazil”
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:
Continue reading “The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 8 – Åland & Faroe Islands”
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 … Continue reading The 12 Days Of Christmas Stamps 2014: Day 7 – Ireland & Monaco