America’s Favorite Holiday Flower:Poinsettia
The stamp art depicts the rich red and vibrant green leaves surrounding the flower—the cluster of small, rather modest cup-shaped structures in the center. The red “petals” that we think of as the flower are actually modified leaves called bracts. A potted poinsettia was used as art reference.While considered by the ancient Aztecs to be a symbol of purity, the poinsettia today symbolizes good cheer. The gift of a poinsettia is said to bring with it wishes of laughter and celebration.Found on everything from wrapping paper to holiday jewelry, the poinsettia says “Christmas” more than any other flower. The stamp art’s vibrant red—America’s favorite poinsettia color—adds a decorative and celebratory note to cards and letters during the holidays.William Low painted the stamp art. Ethel Kessler was the art director.
International Christmas Evergreen Wreath Stamp
A new entry in the annual USPS Holiday issues rollout is a Global Forever stamp that depicts an Evergreen Wreath. This international rate stamp offers a single price for any First-Class Mail International one-ounce letter to any country in the world or for a 2-ounce letter to Canada. To distinguish it from domestic rate Forever stamps, it is round and bears the words “Global Forever.”The wreath that graces the stamp art has a base made of a wire metal frame folded around Styrofoam, which was spray-painted green. The designer attached evergreen twigs onto picks and inserted them into the base, rotating the picks to make the wreath full and lush. The decorations are clusters of bright red Nandina berries and pinecones. The wreath is finished with a traditional red bow.
Virgin and Child Traditional Christmas Stamp
This new Christmas stamp by USPS features Gossaert’s 1531 painting Virgin and Child. Draped in purple and blue, the Virgin Mary supports her own head by leaning on one of her hands, an unusual pose that art historians see as a sign of sadness and contemplation.
In her other hand, a curly-haired infant Jesus draped in white holds a bunch of red currants, which scholars believe are meant to foreshadow his future suffering.Gossaert’s painting is currently in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Richard Sheaff was the art director and designer for this stamp.