This year’s holiday stamps extend diverse greetings. The 44-cent First-Class stamps include Christmas: Madonna and Sleeping Child by Sassoferrato, Eid, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Winter Holidays. The stamps are available at the world’s largest Post Office that never closes: www.usps.com/shop. Customers can also purchase stamps by calling 1.800.STAMP.24 or by visiting their local Post Office. “We hope Americans will use these stamps to spread the joy of the holidays on cards and letters across the nation this holiday season,” said David Failor, executive director of Stamp Services, U.S. Postal Service.
Christmas: Madonna and Sleeping Child by Sassoferrato
Since 1978, the theme of each “traditional” Christmas stamp has been the Madonna and Child. The 2009 stamp features a painting by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Salvi (1609-1685), more commonly known as Sassoferrato. The painting is currently in the collection of Hearst Castle in California.
The painting depicts a blonde Madonna clothed in red and cradling the sleeping Christ Child in purple cloth. From each of the two top corners, the childlike face of a cherub looks down from the clouds. All 600 million, 44-cent, First-Class stamps are available in booklets of 20.
A reindeer, snowman, gingerbread man and toy soldier highlight the 2009 Winter Holidays stamps. These popular figures are seen throughout the holidays, decorating homes, schools, and stores from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. They also appear in gift wrap designs and are the subjects of several favorite songs and stories. As stamp art, they will add a festive touch to letters and cards sent to friends and family.
This is the first Postal Service stamp project for artist Joseph Cudd. His company, Brushworks Studio, in Greensboro, NC, is primarily a gift wrap and print design firm. To create these stamps under the direction of Richard Sheaff of Scottsdale, AZ, Joseph first sketched the designs by hand and then finished them on the computer using a graphics tablet.
More than 1.5 billion 44-cent First-Class stamps are available in booklets of 20 and ATM booklets of 18.
To purchase your holiday stamps, visit www.usps.com/shop and type the stamp name into the search engine .