This year, the Crown corporation continues its long tradition of holiday commemorations with a secular issue designed to inspire warm thoughts. The three stamps—paying domestic, U.S. and international rates—display colourful folk-art inspired depictions of traditional cold-weather wear.
In Canada, dressing for the cold connects us with the past. European settlers first brought wool-producing sheep to North America as early as the mid-17th century to keep their families’ feet warm with knitted socks. What’s more, worsted caps worn by voyageurs are possibly the predecessor of what we now call toques. Early Canadians are also known to have warmed up with fur-lined mitts made of animal skin—a style that likely originated with the Inuit.
A secular souvenir sheet official first-day cover (OFDC) cancelled in Cardigan, P.E.I. was also issued today.
‘AWAY IN A MANGER’
Few stories have inspired as many creative interpretations as the nativity. For centuries, artists have used the methods and media of their time to express their vision of the birth of Christ.
This year’s religious stamp, designed by Montréal-based Paprika and illustrated by Daniel Robitaille, employs the simple but rich symbolism of traditional folk art to revitalize the essential elements: the Holy Family, their humble accommodations, the makeshift crib and the heralding star of Bethlehem.
Imagery on the religious OFDC continues the story, showing the intrepid Magi following the star to seek the infant king. Warm colours evoke a sense of family intimacy and peace that befit the season.
UNCUT PRODUCTION PRESS SHEET
Canada Post is also offering a limited-edition uncut production press sheet featuring multiple booklets from the secular issue along with booklets of the sacred Christmas stamp. Also included is a bonus pack of all four stamp booklets plus two OFDCs and a souvenir sheet.
Unlike uncut press sheets specifically designed as collectibles, the production press sheet is made up of actual booklets before they’re cut for sale. This is a first for Canada Post, and only 500 sheets are available.
The uncut production press sheet includes:
- 17 secular Permanent domestic-rate stamp booklets (12 stamps each);
- eight sacred Permanent domestic-rate stamp booklets (12 stamps each);
- seven U.S. stamp booklets (six stamps each);
- eight international-rate stamp booklets (six stamps each); and
- a certificate of authenticity.