#3004-07 – 1995 32c Christmas Santa and Children

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- MM21243 Vertical Mounts, Black, Split-back, Pre-cut, 52 x 67 millimeters (2-1/16 x 2-5/8 inches)
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U.S. #3004-07
1995 32¢ Contemporary Christmas

Issue Date: September 30, 1995
City: North Pole, NY
Quantity: 75,000,000
Printed By: Sterling Sommers for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method:
Lithographed
Perforations:
11.2
Color: Multicolored
 
Please note:  Due to the layout of the pane, the se-tenant may or may not be provided in Scott Catalogue order.
 
The four images on these stamps are based upon artwork nearly a century old and created by unknown Victorian artists. These artists worked for commercial printers and publishers.
 
"Santa on a Rooftop" is based on an antique writing tablet cover. "Santa in the Workshop" comes from an original antique postcard, which is postmarked 1915. "Child Holding Jumping Jack" and "Child Holding Tree" are examples of postcards based on "scrap." "Scrap" were colorful printed images which children and adults alike used to decorate holiday objects.
 
Santa Entering Chimney
Since immigrants coming to America first arrived in New York City, many of our Christmas traditions, including Santa Claus, had their beginnings here. Awaiting opportunities to migrate westward, newly arrived immigrants learned their neighbors’ customs, combined them with their own, and carried them across the country. Before long, the Old World St. Nicholas had been transformed into the American Santa Claus.
 
One of the most definitive descriptions of this legendary figure was given by Clement Clark Moore in 1822. His famous poem, The Night Before Christmas, written solely to amuse his children, almost singlehandedly changed the stern St. Nicholas into “jolly St. Nick” – a plump, happy-go-lucky elf with a sleigh full of toys and eight flying reindeer.
 
While Moore gave us the written account, it was Thomas Nast who supplied the visual image. His drawings for Moore’s poems helped secure him a job with Harper’s Weekly, and for 23 years his Christmas drawings gave the country an intimate look at Santa and his workshop. His illustrations for George Walker’s book Santa Claus and His Works also confirmed the idea that Santa wore red. And it was Walker’s story that introduced the idea that Santa lived at the North Pole.
 
Child Holding Jumping Jack
Until the 1850s, toy stores were virtually unheard of, and most toys children received for Christmas were homemade. But the appearance of mass-manufactured toys opened a new market for shopkeepers who piled their counters and shelves high with every imaginable toy – including drums, horns, toy kitchens with real woodburning stoves, china sets, armies of tin soldiers, rocking horses, hoops, jacks, trains, and steamboats. 
 
Each year it seemed Santa produced toys more fabulous than the year before and it wasn’t long before motion and sound appeared in toys. The late 1800s saw an explosion of ingenious toys – guns that fired peas, dogs that jumped through hoops, and baby dolls that cried. These amazingly lifelike clockwork toys, many of which were imported from Europe, delighted young and old alike. But despite all the fantastic creations, brightly painted Noah’s arks remained a favorite throughout the years. Dolls were also popular, and soon they too became elaborate creations with lifelike expressions, real hair, and eyes that opened and closed.
 
Although toys and toy stores may have changed since those early years, today the anticipation of discovering what Santa has left under the tree still makes every child’s Christmas magical.
 
Child Holding Tree
Each December, millions of Americans express a longing for an old-fashioned Christmas. Many are convinced that Christmas isn’t what it used to be, envisioning Currier and Ives scenes of blazing Yule logs, candle-lit Christmas trees, and snowy sleigh rides.
 
Many consider the Christmas of Victorian America to be the quintessential holiday. But the truth is, Christmas and many of its seemingly age-old traditions didn’t gain popularity until the latter half of the nineteenth century.   In fact, well into the 1800s, there were those who emphatically insisted that Christmas was “shameful.”
 
The early English Puritans who settled America wanted nothing to do with the Roman Church’s “Christ-mass.” Since the actual day of Christ’s birth had been lost, and December 25th had merely been assigned by the Roman Catholics, they declared Christmas was a human invention.
 
But despite the opposition, Christmas managed to survive. Settlers from other parts of Europe brought with them their traditions of celebrating Christmas and gradually these Old World customs were blended together to create what has become the most popular day of the year – one that for children and adults alike is filled with magic, wonder, and excitement.
 
Santa Working on Sled
The age-old custom of sending Christmas cards actually dates back to Roman times when friends sent one another New Year’s greetings. But it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that visitors began to leave Christmas greetings written on their calling cards. Eventually people began creating personal Christmas cards, and in 1862 the idea caught on commercially.
 
Louis Prang, an enterprising German immigrant, popularized the custom here in America. At a Vienna exhibition in 1873, Prang publicized his works by handing out business cards with lifelike flowers printed on them. The cards proved so popular, the wife of his London agent suggested he print Christmas mottoes on them and sell them as Christmas greetings. The cards sold so well, the following year Prang introduced them in the United States. Similar to Victorian valentines, these early Christmas cards pictured bouquets of flowers, seashells, and butterflies. By the end of the 1870s, his cards featured distinctively holiday themes.
 
Ultimately it was the penny post card that revolutionized the Christmas card business. Three of the contemporary Christmas stamps are based on Victorian postcards, while the fourth, “Santa on a rooftop,” is from a writing tablet cover. The early English Puritans who settled America wanted nothing to do with the Roman Church’s “Christ-mass.” Since the actual day of Christ’s birth had been lost, and December 25th had merely been assigned by the Roman Catholics, they declared Christmas was a human invention.
 
But despite the opposition, Christmas managed to survive. Settlers from other parts of Europe brought with them their traditions of celebrating Christmas and gradually these Old World customs were blended together to create what has become the most popular day of the year – one that for children and adults alike is filled with magic, wonder, and excitement.
 
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U.S. #3004-07
1995 32¢ Contemporary Christmas

Issue Date: September 30, 1995
City: North Pole, NY
Quantity: 75,000,000
Printed By: Sterling Sommers for Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method:
Lithographed
Perforations:
11.2
Color: Multicolored
 
Please note:  Due to the layout of the pane, the se-tenant may or may not be provided in Scott Catalogue order.
 
The four images on these stamps are based upon artwork nearly a century old and created by unknown Victorian artists. These artists worked for commercial printers and publishers.
 
"Santa on a Rooftop" is based on an antique writing tablet cover. "Santa in the Workshop" comes from an original antique postcard, which is postmarked 1915. "Child Holding Jumping Jack" and "Child Holding Tree" are examples of postcards based on "scrap." "Scrap" were colorful printed images which children and adults alike used to decorate holiday objects.
 
Santa Entering Chimney
Since immigrants coming to America first arrived in New York City, many of our Christmas traditions, including Santa Claus, had their beginnings here. Awaiting opportunities to migrate westward, newly arrived immigrants learned their neighbors’ customs, combined them with their own, and carried them across the country. Before long, the Old World St. Nicholas had been transformed into the American Santa Claus.
 
One of the most definitive descriptions of this legendary figure was given by Clement Clark Moore in 1822. His famous poem, The Night Before Christmas, written solely to amuse his children, almost singlehandedly changed the stern St. Nicholas into “jolly St. Nick” – a plump, happy-go-lucky elf with a sleigh full of toys and eight flying reindeer.
 
While Moore gave us the written account, it was Thomas Nast who supplied the visual image. His drawings for Moore’s poems helped secure him a job with Harper’s Weekly, and for 23 years his Christmas drawings gave the country an intimate look at Santa and his workshop. His illustrations for George Walker’s book Santa Claus and His Works also confirmed the idea that Santa wore red. And it was Walker’s story that introduced the idea that Santa lived at the North Pole.
 
Child Holding Jumping Jack
Until the 1850s, toy stores were virtually unheard of, and most toys children received for Christmas were homemade. But the appearance of mass-manufactured toys opened a new market for shopkeepers who piled their counters and shelves high with every imaginable toy – including drums, horns, toy kitchens with real woodburning stoves, china sets, armies of tin soldiers, rocking horses, hoops, jacks, trains, and steamboats. 
 
Each year it seemed Santa produced toys more fabulous than the year before and it wasn’t long before motion and sound appeared in toys. The late 1800s saw an explosion of ingenious toys – guns that fired peas, dogs that jumped through hoops, and baby dolls that cried. These amazingly lifelike clockwork toys, many of which were imported from Europe, delighted young and old alike. But despite all the fantastic creations, brightly painted Noah’s arks remained a favorite throughout the years. Dolls were also popular, and soon they too became elaborate creations with lifelike expressions, real hair, and eyes that opened and closed.
 
Although toys and toy stores may have changed since those early years, today the anticipation of discovering what Santa has left under the tree still makes every child’s Christmas magical.
 
Child Holding Tree
Each December, millions of Americans express a longing for an old-fashioned Christmas. Many are convinced that Christmas isn’t what it used to be, envisioning Currier and Ives scenes of blazing Yule logs, candle-lit Christmas trees, and snowy sleigh rides.
 
Many consider the Christmas of Victorian America to be the quintessential holiday. But the truth is, Christmas and many of its seemingly age-old traditions didn’t gain popularity until the latter half of the nineteenth century.   In fact, well into the 1800s, there were those who emphatically insisted that Christmas was “shameful.”
 
The early English Puritans who settled America wanted nothing to do with the Roman Church’s “Christ-mass.” Since the actual day of Christ’s birth had been lost, and December 25th had merely been assigned by the Roman Catholics, they declared Christmas was a human invention.
 
But despite the opposition, Christmas managed to survive. Settlers from other parts of Europe brought with them their traditions of celebrating Christmas and gradually these Old World customs were blended together to create what has become the most popular day of the year – one that for children and adults alike is filled with magic, wonder, and excitement.
 
Santa Working on Sled
The age-old custom of sending Christmas cards actually dates back to Roman times when friends sent one another New Year’s greetings. But it wasn’t until the nineteenth century that visitors began to leave Christmas greetings written on their calling cards. Eventually people began creating personal Christmas cards, and in 1862 the idea caught on commercially.
 
Louis Prang, an enterprising German immigrant, popularized the custom here in America. At a Vienna exhibition in 1873, Prang publicized his works by handing out business cards with lifelike flowers printed on them. The cards proved so popular, the wife of his London agent suggested he print Christmas mottoes on them and sell them as Christmas greetings. The cards sold so well, the following year Prang introduced them in the United States. Similar to Victorian valentines, these early Christmas cards pictured bouquets of flowers, seashells, and butterflies. By the end of the 1870s, his cards featured distinctively holiday themes.
 
Ultimately it was the penny post card that revolutionized the Christmas card business. Three of the contemporary Christmas stamps are based on Victorian postcards, while the fourth, “Santa on a rooftop,” is from a writing tablet cover. The early English Puritans who settled America wanted nothing to do with the Roman Church’s “Christ-mass.” Since the actual day of Christ’s birth had been lost, and December 25th had merely been assigned by the Roman Catholics, they declared Christmas was a human invention.
 
But despite the opposition, Christmas managed to survive. Settlers from other parts of Europe brought with them their traditions of celebrating Christmas and gradually these Old World customs were blended together to create what has become the most popular day of the year – one that for children and adults alike is filled with magic, wonder, and excitement.