2014 49¢ Santa
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
The script for the television version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer differs from the original book in several ways, including Santa’s role. In Robert L. May’s 1939 children’s book, Santa began delivering toys on Christmas Eve. He hurried as the fog thickened, becoming “as thick as a soda’s white fizz.”
Street lamps and porch lights helped Santa navigate until bedtime came and houses darkened. He prayed for even one star to guide him, but the heavy fog made the night as black as coal. Stranded and worried children would be disappointed in the morning, Santa entered one last house. There, he found Rudolph’s nose glowing in the dark. “And then came the greatest idea in all history,” as Santa pressed Rudolph into service.
The television version portrayed a somewhat gruff Santa. Visiting the Donners shortly after Rudolph’s birth, he warns them their son will not be able to guide the sleigh if he doesn’t outgrow the red nose. Santa relents only after Rudolph returns home and rescues the Donners from the Abominable Snow Monster. In spite of this slightly darker portrayal of Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer consistently ranks as one of television’s most popular Christmas shows.
U.S. #4948 is part of a four-stamp set issued to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the premiere of the animated Christmas classic, Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The art for the stamps was from a still frame of the special.
49¢ Santa, issued to satisfy the first-class mail rate
Issue Date: November 6, 2014 – the 50th anniversary of the show’s premiere
City: Washington, DC
Quantity: 125 million
Printed By: CCL Label Inc.
Printing Method: Photogravure in sheets of 120, with six booklet panes of 20 per sheet
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut 11 X 10 ¾