Christmas Holiday Stamps


Image of first Christmas-themed U.S. postage stamp, a 4-cent stamp featuring a wreath and candles issued in 1962
Image of the first Christmas-themed U.S. postage stamp, which was issued in 1962 and featured a wreath and candles.

The United States Post Office Department issued its first Christmas stamp in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on November 1, 1962. Customers had requested such a stamp for years.

Anticipating a huge demand for the new Christmas stamp, the Department ordered 350 million printed - the largest number produced for a special stamp until that time. The green and red four-cent stamps featured a wreath, two candles, and the words "Christmas 1962". The initial supply sold out quickly and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing began working around-the-clock to print more. By the end of 1962, one billion of the stamps had been printed and distributed.

Although the decision to print a Christmas stamp generated some controversy, especially from groups concerned about maintaining the separation of church and state, legal actions to bar the stamps were not successful.

In the list of U.S. Christmas holiday stamps that follows, the numbers in parentheses indicate postage on non-denominated stamps.

The Postal Service Guide to U.S. Stamps lists all United States postage stamps and provides other useful information, including illustrations. You can find the Guide in some bookstores and Post Offices, or you can order a copy by calling 1-800-STAMP-24 or by visiting the Postal Store at www.usps.com/shop.

Subject and Scott Catalog Number

Date Issued

Denomination

Designer

Christmas Wreath and Candles. Scott # 1205.

Nov. 1, 1962

Jim Crawford

National Christmas Tree and White House. Scott # 1240.

Nov. 1, 1963

Lily Spandorf; modified by Norman Todhunte

Holly, Mistletoe, Poinsettia, Sprig of Conifer, 4 designs. Scott # 1254-1257.

Nov. 9, 1964

Thomas F. Naegele

Angel with Trumpet, 1840 Weather Vane. After watercolor by Lucille Gloria Chabot of the 1840 weather vane from the People’s Methodist Church, Newburyport, MA. National Gallery of Art. Scott # 1276.

Nov. 2, 1965

Robert Jones

Madonna and Child, by Hans Memling. Modeled after Madonna and Child with Angels, by Flemish artist Hans Memling (c. 1430-1494).  Mellon Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 1321.

Nov. 1, 1966

Howard C. Mildner

Madonna and Child, by Hans Memling. Modeled after Madonna and Child with Angels, by Flemish artist Hans Memling (c. 1430-1494).  Mellon Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.  Larger version of same painting in 1966 stamp. Scott # 1336.

Nov. 6, 1967

Howard C. Mildner

Angel Gabriel, from The Annunciation by Jan van Eyck. From a painting c. 1431/1436 by Flemish painter Jan van Eyck (c. 1930-1441). Andrew W. Mellon Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 1363.

Nov. 1, 1968

Robert J. Jones

Winter Sunday in Norway, Maine. Painted about 1870 by an unknown artist.  N.Y. State Historical Association, Cooperstown, N.Y. Scott # 1384.

Nov. 3, 1969

Stevan Dohanos

Nativity, by Lorenzo Lotto. From a 1523 painting by Venetian artist Lorenzo Lotto (c.1480-1556).  Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 1414.

Nov. 5, 1970

Howard C. Mildner

Tin and Cast-iron Locomotive, Toy Horse on Wheels, Mechanical Tricycle, Doll Carriage, 4 designs. From a drawing (locomotive) by Charles Hemming in “Index of American Design Colllection” National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and from “Golden Age of Toys” by Fondin and Remise. Scott # 1415-1418.

Nov. 5, 1970

Stevan Dohanos

Adoration of the Shepherds, by Giorgione. From a 1505/1510 painting by Venetian painter Giorgione (1477/1478-1510).  Samuel H. Kress Collection,  National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 1444.

Nov. 10, 1971

Bradbury Thompson

Partridge in a Pear Tree. Scott # 1445.

Nov. 10, 1971

Jamie Wyeth

Angels from Mary, Queen of Heaven. Detail from a 1485/1500 painting by the Master of the St. Lucy legend, active in Bruges c. 1480 - c. 1510.  The artist’s name is unknown, he is called the Master of the St. Lucy legend for an altarpiece in the church of Saint James, Bruges, dated 1480, that depicts three scenes from the life of Saint Lucy.  Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 1471.

Nov. 9, 1972

Bradbury Thompson

Santa Claus. Scott # 1472.

Nov. 9, 1972

Stevan Dohanos

Small Cowper Madonna, by Raphael. From a c. 1505 painting by the Italian painter Raphael (1483-1520) named after a previous owner.  Widener Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 1507.

Nov. 7, 1973

Bradbury Thompson

Christmas Tree in Needlepoint. Scott # 1508.

Nov. 7, 1973

Dolli Tingle

Angel from the Pérussis altarpiece. Detail from the Pérussis altarpiece by anonymous French artist, 1480. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Scott # 1550.

Oct. 23, 1974

10¢

Bradbury Thompson

The Road—Winter, by Currier and Ives. Currier and Ives print from drawing by Otto Knirsch. Scott # 1551.

Oct. 23, 1974

10¢

Stevan Dohanos

Dove Weather Vane atop Mount Vernon. Based on weathervane made in Philadelphia by Joseph Rakestraw, according to specifications by George Washington. Scott # 1552.

Nov. 15, 1974

10¢

Don Hedin and Robert Geissman

Madonna and Child, by Domenico Ghirlandaio. From a c. 1470 painting by Florentine painter Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494).  Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 1579.

Oct. 14, 1975

(10¢)

Bradbury Thompson

Christmas Card, by Louis Prang, 1878. Collection of Museum of the City of New York. Scott # 1580.

Oct. 14, 1975

(10¢)

Stevan Dohanos

Nativity, by John Singleton Copley. After c. 1776 painting by American painter John Singleton Copley (1738-1815).  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Scott # 1701.

Oct. 27, 1976

13¢

Bradbury Thompson

Winter Pastime, by Nathaniel Currier. After 1855 lithograph.  Museum of the City of New York. Scott # 1702, 1703.

Oct. 27, 1976

13¢

Stevan Dohanos

Washington at Valley Forge. After painting by J.C. Leyendecker as Saturday Evening Post cover, 1935. Scott # 1729.

Oct. 21, 1977

13¢

Stevan Dohanos

Rural Mailbox. Scott # 1730.

Oct. 21, 1977

13¢

Dolli Tingle

Madonna and Child with Cherubim, by Andrea della Robbia. After c. 1485 glazed terra cotta sculpture by Florentine artist Andrea della Robia (1435-1525).  Andrew W. Mellon Collection, National Gallery, Washington, D.C. Scott # 1768.

Oct. 18, 1978

15¢

Bradbury Thompson

Child on Hobby Horse and Christmas Tree. Scott # 1769.

Oct. 18, 1978

15¢

Dolli Tingle

Virgin and Child, by Gerard David. After c. 1510 painting The Rest on the Flight into Egypt by Flemish painter Gerard David, c. 1460-1523. Andrew W. Mellon Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 1799.

Oct. 18, 1979

15¢

Bradbury Thompson

Santa Claus Christmas Tree Ornament. Scott # 1800.

Oct. 18, 1979

15¢

Eskil Ohlsson

Madonna and Child. After Epiphany Window by British glass artist Walter Tower, Bethlehem Chapel, Washington [National] Cathedral, Washington, D.C. Scott # 1842.

Oct. 31, 1980

15¢

Esther Porter

Wreath and Toys. Based on antique toys in artist Bob Timberlake’s collection. Scott # 1843.

Oct. 31, 1980

15¢

Bob Timberlake

Madonna and Child, Botticelli. After painting by Florentine painter, Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510).  Art Institute of Chicago. Scott # 1939.

Oct. 28, 1981

20¢

Bradbury Thompson

Felt Bear on Sleigh. Scott # 1940.

Oct. 28, 1981

20¢

Nalad Einsel

Puppy and Kitten. Scott # 2025.

Nov. 3, 1982

13¢

Chuck Ripper

Madonna and Child, by Tiepolo. After c. 1767/1770 painting Madonna of the Goldfinch by Venetian painter, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, 1696-1770.  Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 2026.

Oct. 28, 1982

20¢

Bradbury Thompson

Season’s Greetings (Children Sledding, Children Building a Snowman, Children Skating, Children Trimming a Tree), 4 designs. Scott # 2027-2030.

Oct. 28, 1982

20¢

Dolli Tingle

Niccolini-Cowper Madonna, by Raphael. After a 1508 painting by Italian painter Raphael (1483-1520).  The painting is named after two former owners.  Andrew W. Mellon Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 2063.

Oct. 28, 1983

20¢

Bradbury Thompson

Santa Claus. Scott # 2064.

Oct. 28, 1983

20¢

John Berkey

Madonna and Child, by Fra Filippo Lippi. After 1440/1445 painting by Florentine painter Fra Filippo Lippi (c. 1406-1469).  Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 2107.

Oct. 30, 1984

20¢

Bradbury Thompson

Santa Claus. Drawing by Queens, NY, second-grade student, Danny LaBoccetta, winner of first nationwide student stamp design contest sponsored by United States Postal Service. Scott # 2108.

Oct. 30, 1984

20¢

Danny LaBoccetta

Genoa Madonna, by Luca Della Robbia. After c. 1450 enameled terra cotta by Florentine sculptor, Luca Della Robbia (1400-1482). Detroit Institute of Arts.

Oct. 30, 1985

22¢

Bradbury Thompson

Poinsettia Plants. Scott # 2166.

Oct. 30, 1985

22¢

James Dean

Madonna and Child, by Perugino. After post-1500 painting by Umbrian painter, Pietro Perugino (c. 1450-1523).  Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 2244.

Oct. 24, 1986

22¢

Bradbury Thompson

Village Scene. Scott # 2245.

Oct. 24, 1986

22¢

Dolli Tingle

Madonna and Child, by Moroni. After c. 1560 painting A Gentleman in Adoration before the Madonna, by Bergamo painter, Giovanni Battista Moroni (c. 1525-1578). Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 2367.

Oct. 23, 1987

22¢

Bradbury Thompson

Christmas Ornaments. Scott # 2368.

Oct. 23, 1987

22¢

Jim Dean

Madonna and Child, by Botticelli. After c. 1470 painting by Florentine painter, Sandro Botticelli (1446-1510).  Andrew W. Mellon Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 2399.

Oct. 20, 1988

25¢

Bradbury Thompson

One-Horse Open Sleigh and Village Scene. Scott # 2400.

Oct. 20, 1988

25¢

Joan Landis

Madonna and Child, by Carracci. After c. 1593 painting The Dream of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, by Bolognese painter Lodovico Carracci (1555-1619).  Samuel H. Kress Foundation, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 2427.

Oct. 19, 1989

25¢

Bradbury Thompson

Sleigh Full of Presents. Based on antique toy sleigh from New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, N.Y. Scott # 2428.

Oct. 19, 1989

25¢

Stevan Dohanos

Madonna and Child, by Antonello. After c. 1475 painting by Sicilian painter, Antonello da Messina (c. 1430-1479). Andrew W. Mellon Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 2514.

Oct. 18, 1990

25¢

Bradbury Thompson

Greetings (Christmas Tree). Scott # 2515.

Oct. 18, 1990

25¢

Libby Thiel

Madonna and Child, by Antoniazzo Romano. After c. 1480 painting Madonna and Child with Donor by Roman painter, Antoniazzo Romano, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. Scott # 2578.

Oct. 17, 1991

(29¢)

Bradbury Thompson

Santa Claus in Chimney. Scott # 2579, 2580, 2581.

Oct. 17, 1991

(29¢)

John Berkey

Santa Checking List, Santa with Present, Santa at Fireplace, Santa and Sleigh, 4 designs, Scott # 2582-2585.

Oct. 17, 1991

(29¢)

John Berkey

Madonna and Child, by Giovanni Bellini. After c. 1490 painting Madonna and Child with Saints by Venetian painter Giovanni Bellini (c. 1430/1435 – 1516).  National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 2710.

Oct. 22, 1992

29¢

Bradbury Thompson

Greetings (Horse and Rider, Toy Train, Toy Steamer, Toy Ship), 4 designs. Scott # 2711-2714, 2715-2718.

Oct. 22, 1992

29¢

Lou Nolan

Greetings (Toy Train). Scott # 2719.

Oct. 22, 1992

29¢

Lou Nolan

Madonna and Child, by Giovanni Battista Cima. After c. 1496-99 painting Madonna and Child in a Landscape, by Italian painter, Giovanni Battista Cima da Conegliano (c. 1459/60 – c. 1517/18).  North Carolina Museum of Art. Scott # 2789, 2790.

Oct. 21, 1993

29¢

Bradbury Thompson

Greetings (Jack-in-the-Box, Red-Nosed Reindeer, Snowman, Toy Soldier Blowing Horn), 4 designs. Scott # 2791-2794, 2795-2798, 2799-2802.

Oct. 21, 1993, Oct. 28, 1993

29¢

Peter Good

Greetings (Snowman). Scott # 2803.

Oct. 28, 1993

29¢

Peter Good

Madonna and Child, by Elisabetta Sirani. After 1663 painting Virgin and Child by Bolognese painter Elisabetta Sirani (1638-1665). National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C. Scott # 2871.

Oct. 20, 1994

29¢

Bradbury Thompson

Stocking. Scott # 2872.

Oct. 20, 1994

29¢

Lou Nolan

Santa Claus. Scott # 2873.

Oct. 20, 1994

29¢

Harry Zelenko

Cardinal in Snow. Scott # 2874.

Oct. 20, 1994

29¢

Peter Good

Madonna and Child, by Giotto di Bondone. After c. 1320/1330 painting by Florentine painter Giotto di Bondone (probably 1266-1337). Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 3003.

Oct. 19, 1995

32¢

Robert Sheaff

Santa Claus Entering Chimney, Child Holding Jumping Jack, Child Holding Tree, Santa Claus Working on Sled, 4 designs. Based on antique writing tablet cover, postcard published by James Campbell & Son c. 1880-1890, postcard published in German by HWB c. 1910, postcard published by Stecher Lithographic Co., Rochester, NY, postmarked 1915. Scott # 3004-3007, 3008-3011, 3014-3017.

Sep. 30, 1995

32¢

John Grossman and Laura Alders

Midnight Angel. Based on greeting card c. 1910, probably by American artist Ellen H. Clapsaddle (1865-1934). Scott # 3012, 3018.

Oct. 19, 1995

32¢

John Grossman and Laura Alders

Children Sledding. Based on postcard published by Raphael Tuck& Sons, Ltd., London, postmarked 1911. Scott # 3013.

Oct. 19, 1995

32¢

John Grossman and Laura Alders

Madonna and Child, by Paolo de Matteis. After 1712 painting Adoration of the Shepherds by Neapolitan painter Paolo de Matteis (1662-1728).  Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA. Scott # 3107, 3112.

Nov. 1, 1996

32¢

Richard D. Sheaff

Family at Fireplace, Decorating Tree, Dreaming of Santa Claus, Holiday Shopping, 4 designs. Scott # 3108-3111, 3113-3116.

Oct. 8, 1996

32¢

Julia Talcott

Skaters. Scott # 3117.

Oct. 8, 1996

32¢

Julia Talcott

Madonna and Child, by Sano di Pietro. After c. 1471 painting Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels by Sienese painter Sano di Pietro (1405 – 1481).  Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 3176.

Oct. 27, 1997

32¢

Richard D. Sheaff

American Holly. Scott # 3177.

Oct. 30, 1997

32¢

Howard Paine

Florentine Madonna and Child. After c. 1425 painted and gilded terra cotta statue by unknown sculptor, Florence, 15th century.  Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 3244.

Oct. 15, 1998

32¢

Richard D. Sheaff

Evergreen Wreath, Victorian Wreath, Chili Pepper Wreath, Tropical Wreath, 4 designs. Scott # 3245-3248, 3249-3252.

Oct. 15, 1998

32¢

Lillian Dinihanian, George deBruin, Chris Crinklaw, Michaele Thunin

Madonna and Child, by Bartolomeo Vivarini. After c. 1475 painting by Venetian painter, Bartolomeo Vivarini, c. 1430/1432 - c. 1491 or c. 1499. Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 3355.

Oct. 20, 1999

33¢

Richard D. Sheaff

Greetings (Red, Blue, Purple, and Green Deer), 4 designs. Scott # 3356-3359, 3360-3363, 3364-3367.

Oct. 20, 1999

33¢

Tim Nikosey

none issued

2000

 

 

Virgin and Child, by Lorenzo Costa. After about 1490 painting by Ferrarese painter Lorenzo Costa (about 1460-1535).  John G. Johnson Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA. Scott # 3536.

Oct. 10, 2001

34¢

Richard Sheaff

Santa wearing tan hood, Santa wearing blue hat, Santa wearing red hat, Santa wearing gold hood, 4 designs.

After chromolithograph images, ca. 1880 and ca. 1915-20. Scott # 3537-3540, 3541-3544.

Oct. 10, 2001

34¢

Richard Sheaff

Madonna and Child, by Jan Gossaert. After c. 1520 painting by Jan Gossaert (c. 1478 to 1532), the Netherlands.  Charles H. and Mary F.S. Worcester Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Scott # 3675.

Oct. 10, 2002

37¢

Richard Sheaff

Snowman with red and green plaid scarf, Snowman with blue plaid scarf, Snowman with pipe, Snowman with top hat, 4 designs. Snowmen made by Tommy Simpson (with pipe and with top hat), Judy Gunn-Irish (with red and green plaid scarf), Delton Products Corp. (with blue plaid scarf). Scott # 3676-3679, 3680-3683, 3684-3687, 3688-3691.

Oct. 28, 2002

37¢

Derry Noyes; photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce

Madonna and Child, by Jan Gossaert. After c. 1520 painting by Jan Gossaert (c. 1478 to 1532), the Netherlands.  Charles H. and Mary F.S. Worcester Collection, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (same image as 2002 stamp). Scott # 3820.

Oct. 23, 2003

37¢

Richard Sheaff

Holiday Music Makers (reindeer playing panpipes, Santa playing drums, Santa playing trumpet, reindeer playing horn), 4 designs. Scott # 3821-3824, 3825-3828.

Oct. 23, 2003

37¢

Ethel Kessler; art work by Diane Teske Harris

Madonna and Child, by Lorenzo Monaco. After 1413 painting by Florentine painter Lorenzo Monaco. Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 3879.

Oct. 14, 2004

37¢

Richard Sheaff

Holiday Ornaments (painted glass Santas nestled in tissue paper), 4 designs. Scott # 3883-3886, 3887-3890, 3891-3894.

Nov. 16, 2004

37¢

Derry Noyes; photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce

Holiday Cookies (Santa Claus, two snowmen, an angel, two elves), 4 designs. Scott # 3949-3952, 3953-3956, 3957-3960.

Oct. 20, 2005

37¢

Derry Noyes; photographed by Sally Andersen-Bruce

Holiday Snowflakes, 4 designs. Scott # 4105-4108, 4109-4112, 4113-4116.

Oct. 5, 2006

39¢

Richard Sheaff; photographed by Kenneth Libbrecht

Madonna and Child with Bird, by Ignacio Chacón. After c. 1765 painting attributed to Peruvian artist Ignacio Chacón.  Engracia and Frank Barrows Freyer Collection of Peruvian colonial art, Denver Art Museum. Scott # 4100.

Oct. 17, 2006

39¢

Michael Osborne

Holiday Knits, 4 designs. Scott # 4207-4210, 4211-4214, 4215-4218.

Oct. 25, 2007

41¢

Carl T. Herrman; knits by Nancy Stahl

The Madonna of the Carnation, by Bernardino Luini. After c. 1515 painting by Milanese painter Bernardino Luini. Samuel H. Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Scott # 4206.

Oct. 25, 2007

41¢

Richard Sheaff

Christmas: Virgin and Child with the Young John the Baptist, by Sandro Botticelli.  After c.1490 painting by Italian painter Sandro Botticelli.  Cleveland Museum of Art.  Scott # 4359.

Oct. 23, 2008

42¢

Richard Sheaff

Holiday Nutcrackers, 4 designs.  Scott # 4360-4363, 4364-4367, 4368-4371.

Oct. 23, 2008

42¢

Derry Noyes; nutcrackers made by Glenn A. Crider based on sketches and notes of Sally Andersen-Bruce, who later photographed them

Winter Holidays (reindeer, snowman, gingerbread man, toy soldier), 4 designs.  Scott # 4425-4428, 4429-4432.

Oct. 8, 2009

44¢

Richard Sheaff; sketches by Joseph Cudd

Christmas: Madonna and Sleeping Child by Sassoferrato, by Giovanni Battista Salvi.  After 17th c. painting by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Salvi, more commonly known as Sassoferrato.  Hearst Castle, San Simeon, California.  Scott # 4424.

Oct. 20, 2009

 44¢

Carl T. Herrman

Angel with Lute, by Melozzo da Forli. Detail of a 15th c. fresco by Italian painter Melozzo da Forli.  Collection of the Vatican’s Pinacoteca (art museum).  Scott # 4477.

Oct. 21, 2010

44¢

Terrence McCaffrey

Holiday Evergreens (Forever) (ponderosa pine, eastern red cedar, blue spruce and balsam fir), 4 designs. Scott # 4478-4481, 4482-4485.    

Oct. 21, 2010

(44¢)

Since 2011, all commemorative First-Class stamps have been issued as Forever stamps. Forever stamps can always be used to mail a First-Class letter weighing up to one ounce; the value given in parentheses was the price of the stamp when first issued.

Madonna of the Candelabra, by Raphael. Detail of a ca. 1513 painting by Italian master Raphael. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland.  Scott # 4570.

Oct. 13, 2011

(44¢)

Richard Sheaff

Holiday Baubles, 4 designs.  Scott # 4571-4574; 4575-4578; 4579-4582.

Oct. 13, 2011

(44¢)

William J. Gicker; illustrations by Linda Fountain

Holy Family.  Scott # 4711.

Oct. 10, 2012

(45¢)

William J. Gicker and Greg Breeding; illustration by Nancy Stahl

Santa and Sleigh, block of four.  Scott # 4712-4715.

Oct. 13, 2012

(45¢)

Howard E. Paine; illustrations by Paul Rogers

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