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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Postal Service commemorates one of the most beloved stories of the holiday season by issuing the Christmas Magi Limited Edition Forever stamps today. The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony took place at the St. John’s Church in Washington, DC.
“We are pleased and excited that this stamp will decorate millions of greeting cards, letters and packages this year,” said U.S. Postal Service Governor Louis Giuliano in dedicating the stamp. “And like the Christmas story and the three wise men — these stamps are good forever!”
Joining Giuliano in the dedication were White House Military Office Senior Chaplain Navy Captain Stan Fornea and St. John’s Church Rector Dr. Luis León. First Take Communication Washington, DC, President and CEO Nancy Mathis served as master of ceremonies.
The stamp celebrates the biblical story of three visitors from the east who came bearing gifts for Jesus. The stamp art depicts the Magi atop camels near the summit of a small hill. Guiding them is a large, dazzling star. In the west, Three Kings Day is celebrated Jan. 6. In many cultures, this is the day for exchanging gifts, rather than Christmas Day.
The colors in the sky range from rose, near the horizon, darkening to a rich purple at the top, suggesting that the travelers are moving through the desert at dawn. Art director Greg Breeding designed the stamp, which was illustrated by Nancy Stahl.
Working together, Breeding, of Charlottesville, VA, and Stahl, of New York City, created an image that illustrates the traditional tale of the Magi. The three figures sit atop bedecked and harnessed camels, guided by a large, dazzling star in the sky. Stahl first sketched her design in pencil on tracing paper. After scanning the sketch, she added color digitally and gave the artwork a softer, airbrushed look.
The Christmas Magi Limited Edition Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price. Customers may purchase the stamps at usps.com/stamps, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide or visit ebay.com/stamps to shop for a wide variety of postage stamps and collectibles.
Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks
Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. They may purchase new stamps at their local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at usps.com/shop, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. They should affix the stamps to envelopes of their choice, address the envelopes to themselves or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
Christmas Magi Stamp
PO Box 92282
Washington, DC 20090-2282
After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers are charged 5 cents each. All orders must be postmarked by Jan. 18, 2015.
Ordering First-Day Covers
The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at usps.com/shop or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to:
U.S. Postal Service
PO Box 219014
Kansas City, MO 64121-9014
There are eight philatelic products available.
689724 Framed Art, $39.95.
689710 Digital Color Postmark Keepsake, $11.95.
689716 First-Day Cover, $0.93.
689721 Digital Color Postmark, $1.64.
689730 Ceremony Program, $6.95.
689731 Stamp Deck Card, $0.95.
Visit the Postal Service’s Holiday Newsroom for mailing tips, mail by dates, letters to and from Santa and other information.
The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.
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