Sunday Stamps 046: The Three Wise Men


Here is one Christmas stamp from an envelope that just arrived from Australia. A good blogger-friend of mine, the thoughtful Zam, now based in NSW, sent me a packet with several beautiful postcards and bookmarks. 
This is actually one of the five stamps issued for this year’s Christmas stamp set:

Valued at AUD$ 1.50, this stamp shows the Three Wise Men – Balthazar, Melchor and Caspar – on their journey to Bethlehem to worship the baby Jesus Christ.
Isn’t it beautiful? I think it is!
Without sounding too religious {or something to that effect), the story of the birth of Jesus Christ is one of the stories that I hold dearly in my heart. It has been told and re-told to me and my siblings when we were younger by my parents so that the meaning of Christmas wouldn’t be lost on us. And now that the family has expanded, the story is being passed down to my nieces and nephew so that they, too, know what Christmas is all about.

The illustration on the above stamp is something I have imagined the Three Kings to be – alit their camels, dressed in magnificent robes that befit their royal origins, and the guiding star, of course, shining brightest amongst the stars in a star-filled night.

The idea of collecting Christmas stamps from around the world excites me now. After receiving this and the previous ones from South Africa, I think I’m going to look out for others. I’ve checked the Post Offices online and its possible for me to order if I can’t get them from swaps. I wonder if it’s possible to place a special order or request for a stamp sheet or booklet printing of old or past issues of Christmas stamps?

Anyways, I would like to take this opportunity to greet all my blogger-friends and fellow postcards and stamps collectors a very happy Christmas. Here’s to a meaningful Christmas to us all 🙂

Sunday Stamps 045: The world’s first transparent stamp


And it’s from Finland, where else? They consistently produce really awesome stamps that never fail to awe most collectors, in my humble opinion.

The world’s first transparent stamp. Too bad you can’t see it (transparency) here.
I could not find any other information at the Finnish postal service site so I consulted Mr Google for more info. And I got what I was looking for:
With Christmas soon knocking on the door, Finland’s post Itella has issued a new stamp called Frosty Night. This innovative stamp is printed on a special clear film, and it is believed to be the first transparent stamp in the world.

The Frosty Night stamp depicts the atmosphere of a Northern winter night with a frosty snowflake, twinkling stars and aurora borealis in the background. The stamp is printed with blue shades on a clear filmic self-adhesive material from UPM Raflatac. The card or envelope behind the stamp then gives its own colour to the transparent snowflake and stars. – Source

The Finnish Post Office dubbed this beautiful stamp as the Frosty Night stamp, the first transparent stamp in the world issued in 2008. Too bad you can’t really see it here 🙁

Is it true that no snowflakes are alike? Who would know and how would they know? Oh, well, pardon the curiosity. We do not have snow from where I live and it will take some time before I get to see a real snowflake ^.^

Sunday Stamps 034: Christmas stamps fund fight against TB

From the South American continent, this week we feature stamps from the great continent of Africa.

My stamps for this week comes from Suid Afrika (South Africa) which was issued in 1966:

An online auction site says this is a one-of-a-kind issue.
This is a full sheet of mint Christmas stamps, oh what a joy! I have to thank my bestfriend, Fe, for sending this to me, along with postcards and stamps from Botswana. Salamat, Fe!
Christmas stamps were issued and sold worldwide to raise money for charity through the Christmas Stamp Fund. Proceeds were used for things such as Tuberculosis (TB). South Africa was one of the later countries to issue Christmas stamps (in 1929). Various themes are featured on these stamps, from culture, landmarks, nature, traditional arts or folk art, costumes, produce, and nature and wildlife that represent South Africa. The map of South Africa serves as the background of the sheet – very clever, in my opinon – the colourful artwork and the blue ocean pops out of the page. One of the notable features to me is that  the stamps in the sheet were alternately in  English and Afrikaan. Also of particular interest in the stamp design is the cross with two horizontal bars, which is the patriarchal cross, that has become known as the international symbol for the fight against TB. It is also known as the Cross of Lorraine. 
The South African Christmas stamp 1966 was issued in support of Sunshine homes in South Africa. I could not find any info about Sunshine homes but I’m assuming it is a centre caring and providing treatment for people afflicted with TB. This makes me also wonder…  Now that TB is no longer considered a deadly disease, I wonder if the Christmas Stamp Fund provides funding to research on other diseases such as mental illnesses and new methods of treatments, like dual diagnosis treatment and many more.
I found this comprehensive information on South African Christmas stamps.