Monday, December 29, 2008
Christmas has come and gone. How many of us have seen the Ghosts of Christmases past? The good ones, the bad ones and the ugly ones!
And now its almost time to usher in the New Year and its time for stock taking - look back to go forward!!
Thinking of Christmases past philatelically my thoughts turn to Christmas stamps issued every year by Christian countries.
The first Christmas stamp was issued by Canada in December, 1898. It was not specifically a Christmas stamp but bore the inscription "XMAS 1898 and depicted the British Empire. Canada first issued stamps specifically for Christmas in 1964 and every year thereafter.
Stamps with Christmas related themes had been issued by England and Netherlands but were not specific Christmas Stamps.
Austria issued the first Christmas stamp in 1937 - but the theme was not Christmassy.
Great Britain started issuing Christmas stamps from 1966. But Australia had beaten them to it as they started issuing Christmas stamps from 1957 (shown above). They commemorated the 50 anniversary last year.
Several countries started issuing stamps thereafter. The first US Christmas stamp was issued in 1962.