- Holidays and Celebrations
Christmas Stamps 2009
USPS Christmas Stamps 2009 and Other Holiday Postage
The United States Postal Service has been issuing special holiday postage stamps every year since it issued its first Christmas stamp in 1962. People love to decorate their holiday mail with these special stamps, and the post office has fueled the fun by issuing new stamps every year. In addition to a traditional Christmas stamp, the USPS also now issues postage celebrating winter, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Here's a look at the stamps issued by the Postal Service, as well as other official US postage you can buy for the holidays.
2009 Christmas Stamp
Sassoferrato's Madonna and Sleeping Child is the USPS' choice as the image for the 2009 Christmas stamp. Painted by Italian Baroque painter Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato, the portrait is more than 300 years old and is currently displayed at Hearst Castle in California.
James Bilbray, speaking at the dedication ceremony to release the stamp, said, "Sassoferrato's Madonna and Sleeping Child provides a symbol of the endearing and enduring bond of family. The beauty of a mother cradling her child and the symbolic message of purity, love and sacrifice are brilliant."
2009 Winter Holidays Stamps
All of the 2009 holiday stamps, including the Winter Holidays, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa designs, were unveiled in October at the American Stamp Dealers Association Mega Stamp Show in New York. The four winter stamps show images of a reindeer, gingerbread man, a snowman and a toy soldier. Each stamp includes a light brown border along the top top and bottom that depicts traditional Christmas images such as trees, holly leaves, green wreaths or stars.
The new images were designed by artist Joseph Cudd of North Carolina. According to the USPS press release, Cudd sketched the designs first by hand and then used a graphics tablet to complete them.
2009 Hanukkah Stamp
The 2009 Hanukkah stamp shows a photo of a menorah with nine lit candles. The photo was shot by Ira Wexler, and the menorah was designed by Lisa Regan of Oklahoma. This is only the third USPS stamp to commemorate Hanukkah. The first one was released in 1996 and a second one was released in 2004.
2009 Kwanzaa Stamp
The 2009 Kwanzaa stamp also marks the third time the USPS has issued a stamp for this holiday. It was created by Lloyd McNeill of New York City, under the direction of Carl T. Herrman.
According to a USPS press release, "The bold colors in the stamp art are complemented in the top right corner by the colors of the Kwanzaa flag - green for growth, red for blood, and black for the African people - which are the same colors as the Pan-African flag. The field of green around the borders symbolizes growth and a bountiful harvest. In the hoop that the girl holds in her hands, as well as in the family grouping of mother, father, and child, McNeill symbolized unity."
The local post office isn't the only place you can buy 2009 Christmas postage stamps. Thanks to digital technology, you can now create your own holiday postage stamps or customize designs you find online to add a personal touch to your annual Christmas cards and letters.
Both PhotoStamps.com and Zazzle.com let you create postage from your own images and photos, and Zazzle also allows you to shop thousands of designs created by others. You can also customize any of the designs you find on Zazzle. For instance, you might find a snowman image you like and decide to add, "Merry Christmas from the Smiths" to it. Or you could discover a beautiful nativity stamp to which you'd like to add, "Wishing you a blessed holiday." It's easy to modify any design with Zazzle's online editor. Simply look for the "Customize It!" button on any product page below the "Add to Cart" button.
Below are examples of available Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas postage stamps you'll find on Zazzle.com.
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