Designer Sieb Posthuma is one of the Netherlands most prominent illustrators and is known among the general public for his picture books. Posthuma produced one large winter illustration for the stamp images. For Sieb, the challenge lay in creating one credible, all-inclusive illustration that could be divided into twenty separate stamps. The snowflakes and the clock tower on the right were used to link all scenes together.
The large illustration is sub-divided into five landscape-sized partial illustrations, each comprising four stamps. The bottom three rows depict Christmas scenes, such as buying a Christmas tree. The top two rows contain scenes characteristic of New Year’s Eve, such as fireworks and people hurrying home. The traditional Dutch character of these drawings immediately evokes that December feeling in the Netherlands. “My style also matches this feeling. Although the weather is often dull during the festive season, we fantasise about classical snowy landscapes and the romanticism of hot chocolate, lavishly-decorated Christmas trees and “oliebol” fun, said Sieb Posthuma.
The first copies of the 2013 December stamps were presented to former speed skater Jochem Uytdehaage. The former top speed skater won Olympic Gold medals twice in 2002, for the five and ten kilometre events, as well as setting new world records for both distances. Uytdehaage is also founder of Sporttop, a foundation that supports young sportsmen and women. The former speed skater said: “Christmas has many traditions, and sending Christmas cards is one of them. After all, a Christmas card on the doormat gives the receiver personal attention. No e-mail, whatsapp or Facebook like can compete with this.”