Skip to content

Christmas stamps

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The Reminder is making its archives back to 2003 available on our website. Please note that, due to technical limitations, archive articles are presented without the usual formatting.

The holiday season is filled with fun memories and time-honoured traditions. Canada Post has celebrated many of these customs with a tradition of its own that dates back to 1898 Ð special holiday season postage stamps. This year, Canadians will stamp their holiday mail with images that generate excitement in children of all ages Ð festively wrapped packages, the contents waiting to be discovered, with a hint of what may be inside! Canada Post will add these images to its list of commemorated holidays traditions, when it issues three different stamps portraying presents. The stamps, for use on holiday mail within Canada (48), mail destined to the United States (65) and around the world ($1.25), will be available for sale as of November 4, 2003. "Holiday celebrations across Canada are as numerous and varied as the people who call Canada home," said the Honourable Steven W. Mahoney, Secretary of State responsible for Canada Post. "Whether the gifts are exchanged for Ramadan, Kwanza, Hanukkah, Christmas, or any other of the many holidays celebrated during the winter, it is always an occasion filled with fun, family and remembrance. As these stamps travel around the world, the spirit of sharing a gift with someone special will travel with them." The very first Christmas stamp in the world was issued by Canada in 1898. The 'Map' stamp or the 'Imperial Penny Postage' issue was originally intended to honour the then-Prince of Wales. Stamp-lore suggests that when a postal official told Queen Victoria the stamp was to honour the prince, she gruffly asked 'Which prince?' in a manner that suggested she wouldn't be happy with a stamp recognizing royalty other than herself. The postal official is said to have quickly replied that the stamp would honour the Prince of Peace, and the words XMAS 1898 were added to the image. Canada has been issuing Christmas stamps yearly since 1964, featuring holiday themes such as gifts from the Wise Men, carolling, snowflakes, Christmas lights and angels. The three stamps being issued this year combine images of wrapped presents and favourite childhood toys that could be inside. A fun background design of people enjoying a wide variety of outdoor winter activities, including skiing, sledding and playing hockey, finish the design. This is the first time self-adhesive Christmas stamps have been issued by Canada Post.