Issue Date: October 20, 1999
City: Rudolph, WI
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11.25
Color: Gold and purple
The 1999 Holiday Contemporary stamp issued by the United States Postal Service features a stylized rendition of a leaping deer. The colorful stamps were created by artist Tom Nikosey. He based the design on antique metal molds used by printers in the 1930s.
Deer are the only animals that have antlers, which are different from horns. Males lose their antlers each winter and grow new ones in the spring. They use speed and agility to avoid enemies. A healthy deer can outrun its most dangerous predators, including bears, wolves, and humans. Wild deer usually live 10 to 20 years.
To children, the highlight of any Christmas parade is seeing Santa Claus ride in his sleigh pulled by reindeer. Reindeer differ from other members of the deer family. These animals, which live in the northernmost areas of Europe, Asia, and North America, have wider hooves, a heavier coat, and larger antlers. They need the wider hooves to prevent them from sinking into deep snow.
The U.S. Postal Service issued its first Christmas stamp on November 1, 1962. High demand for the issue depleted the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s stock of the correct size paper for this four-cent stamp. The first Christmas se-tenant, issued in 1964, shows holly, mistletoe, a poinsettia, and a sprig of pine.