New 2018 Holiday Stamp Releases
One of the things that we at U.S. Postal Service®, stamp collectors and, well, everyone who loves holidays, look forward to most about the holiday season are the colorful, festive stamps that USPS® releases every year. It’s always a little more exciting to send and receive holiday mail and packages decorated with beautiful stamps that reflect American culture and traditions.
USPS holiday stamps honor both faith-based and secular themes, beginning October 3 with the work of Italian Renaissance painter, Franceso d’Ubertino Verdi (1594-1557), also known as Bachiacca, which features a detail from the oil-and-gold-on-panel painting “Madonna and Child by Bachiacca,” dating from the early 1520s.
The Christmas stamp shows the Christ child clutching a bouquet of jasmine, a symbol of divine love, alongside the Virgin Mary’s profile, left shoulder, and right hand. The stamp is being issued as a Forever stamp, which means it will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® 1-ounce price.
One week later, the Kwanzaa stamp makes its debut Oct. 10. Created in 1966 during the height of the Black Freedom Movement, Kwanzaa was conceived as a unifying holiday.
The stamp art depicts a man, woman and child gathered around a kinara (candleholder) with warm light illuminating their faces. This Forever stamp draws on both contemporary African-American experience and on African roots. Other important Kwanzaa symbols sit on the table — a few ears of corn (muhindi) and various other fruits and vegetables (mazao), the kikombe cha umoja (unity cup); and the mkeka, a straw mat on top of which everything is placed.
Coming up next are the Sparkling Holidays Forever stamps, being released Oct. 11.
Sparkling Holidays includes four new stamps and a souvenir sheet showcasing classic images of Santa Claus painted by famed commercial artist Haddon Sundblom. Each stamp portrays a close-up of Santa’s face. The four images featured in the booklet are details from larger paintings created by Sundblom and originally published in ads for The Coca-Cola Company® from the 1940s through the early 1960s.
The joyous Jewish holiday of Hanukkah follows with a new stamp being issued jointly by the U.S. Postal Service and Israel Post. Hanukkah celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the second century B.C. after it was re-conquered from armies that desecrated the sanctuary. Tradition relates that during the rededication of the Temple — Hanukkah is the Hebrew word for “dedication” —the sacramental oil needed to light the lamps was only enough to burn for one day, however, it burned for eight days until new oil could be pressed.
To make the Hanukkah Forever stamp , which incorporates the Jewish folk art of paper-cutting, artist Tamar Fishman made a pencil sketch of the design and then with a fine blade, cut the two-dimensional image on white paper. It will be available beginning Oct. 16.
And for our customers mailing abroad, we offer the Global: Poinsettia Forever stamp , which can be used to mail a 1-ounce letter to any country where First-Class Mail International service is available. For many people, poinsettias are as much a part of the holidays as evergreens and mistletoe, with tens of millions of the plants sold and displayed each holiday season.
The stamp art features a photo of a poinsettia with green leaves, red bracts and yellow flowers in the center of the plant.