|The Postal Service issues four new stamps and a souvenir sheet showcasing classic images of Santa Claus painted by famed commercial artist Haddon Sundblom. Each stamp portrays a close-up of Santa’s face. The four images featured in the booklet are details from larger paintings created by Sundblom and originally published in ads for The Coca-Cola Company from the 1940s through the early 1960s. Sundblom is the man credited with refining the modern image of Santa Claus.
The souvenir sheet includes a semi-jumbo stamp as part of a wider scene of one of Sundblom’s paintings chosen for the Sparkling Holidays stamp booklet. In it, Santa is depicted standing by a fireplace holding a book that lists good boys and girls. Three Christmas stockings hang along a mantel decorated with greens and ornaments. Peering over his glasses, Santa reads a note among the stockings.
A quatrefoil design element surrounded by a metallic gold background encloses the scene. The use of gold metallic ink, the flow of the type, and the organic shape of the border are intended to harken back to the graphic style of the first half of the 20th century. Art director Greg Breeding designed the souvenir sheet and the stamps.
Santa’s legend is based on customs brought to America by European immigrants. St. Nicholas, the Dutch Sinterklaas, was one of Santa’s forebearers. He delivered gifts on Dec. 5, the eve of his feast day.
Note: Sparkling Holidays Stamps, sold in books of 20, will be available for pre-order online starting Sept. 14 at The Postal Store at usps.com. The souvenir sheet will only be sold through usps.com or by calling 1-800-STAMP24.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.