The holiday season may still be a few months away, but if you're anything like us, you already started to plan your holiday greeting card list. And given the turbulent year we've all had amid the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest, we all could use an uplifting season's greetings more than ever.
To add the finishing, festive touch to your holiday card, the United States Postal Service has announced five new holiday stamps in their Forever collection, which remain valid regardless of the current postal rate (i.e., if the postal rate has increased since you bought your Forever stamps, you can still use them to mail a normal-sized letter weighing one ounce or less to an address within the United States.). The five stamps include diverse winter holiday symbols including "Our Lady of Guápulo," "Holiday Delights" with Christmas imagery, "Hanukkah," and "Kwanzaa" stamps. Check out all the designs below.
Above, the Hanukkah stamp. Per the USPS press release, "The stamp art’s colorful digital illustration shows the lighting of the nine-branched Hanukkah menorah on the last evening of the holiday. All eight of the Hanukkah candles have been lit, and the child is reaching up to replace the shamash, the helper candle used to light the others in the menorah." The stamp was made with a collaboration between art director Ethel Kessler and original art by Jing Jing Tsong."
The Christmas stamps feature a "modern graphic vibe" inspired by Scandinavian folk art with art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps. "With a traditional palette of red, green and white, illustrator Kirsten Ulve channeled her love of Christmas, vintage ornaments and Scandinavian folk art to create unique digital illustrations of four holiday icons: a prancing reindeer with antlers; an ornament tied with a bow and ready to hang; a tree topped with a star; and a stocking holding a teddy bear and a sprig of holly. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps," notes the press release.
The Kwanzaa stamp honors the Pan-African holiday of Kwanzaa which takes place from December 26 to January 1. "The stamp design features the face of a woman in profile with her eyes closed. Her contemplative demeanor signifies the ways in which observers of Kwanzaa reflect on the seven founding principles, the Nguzo Saba, and their role in everyday life," reads the press release. "A kinara (candleholder) with the seven lit candles (mishumaa saba) sits in front of her." Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamp, which features original artwork by Andrea Pippins.
Then, for the Our Lady of Guápulo stamp, the USPS turned to New York City's famed Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painted in the 18th century by an unknown artist in Cuzco, Peru, 'Our Lady of Guápulo' is from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York," the press release explains. "Enrobed in a pyramidal gown speckled with jewels and holding a scepter woven with roses and leaves, a crowned Virgin Mary looks down at a similarly adorned Christ Child in her left arm." Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp.
In addition to these five new stamps, several holiday stamps from recent years, including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa designs, will also be available for purchase while supplies last. You can preorder the Hanukkah and Holiday Delights stamp here now with more of the new collection, along with favorites from season past, being made available in the coming weeks.
Any stamp collectors in the house? We think we'll have to pick up all the new designs for our collection.
This story originally appeared on Southern Living.
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