32¢ Family at Fireplace
Issue Date: October 8, 1996
City: North Pole, AK
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Christmas is a joyous time. It is a season of carols, babes in crèches, and sparkling stars. It is a season of colored lights and greenery, Santas and reindeer. Above all, Christmas is a season for putting aside past quarrels and coming together in happiness and goodwill.
Christmas is family – a time for preparing those special recipes handed down from generation to generation, a time for searching for the perfect tree and setting it up in a place of honor. Christmas is playful pets. But chiefly, Christmas is children helping with decorations, sticking fingers in cookie dough, and searching everywhere for those gaily wrapped gifts they know are hidden away.
Christmas in America is a celebration of the Christ Child’s birth. It is a rich collection of pre-Christian and modern practices woven together, making the holiday uniquely ours. The hearth and fire have always symbolized the love, warmth, and security of home. Evergreens, “the plants that never die,” have long symbolized life itself. And lights – from fire, candle, or twinkling bulb – have always symbolized eternal life. Santa is a modern addition to the many symbolic figures embodying the spirit of giving. But no matter how Christmas is celebrated, it is for everyone a celebration of life, love, and family. Christmas is home.