Tuesday, December 12, 2017

One of the fond memories that I have of my childhood is the mail carrier coming two or three times a day to deliver cards, new calendars and gifts during December.  His huge brown leather bag would invariably include envelopes with Christmas Seals on the reverse side.  Indeed, it was the seals—along with the annual tapered green bayberry candle sent by a local business—that I most remember from those loads.

Christmas Seals—now a trademarked term—were ubiquitous in the 1950s and the early 1960s.  Later as a stamp collector, I learned that their lineage went back decades earlier.  These stamps were sold by sheets as a fundraiser from the National Association for the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis, later known by other names; today, the American Lung Association.  They are still being produced, but I have not seen new ones in years.  I suspect many people have never seen one.

These little stamps are interesting works of art and, in some ways, represent to me a kind of nostalgic representation of the holiday season, heavy with images of Santa Claus, winter and good cheer.  

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