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Santa star of holiday stamps

St. Nick begins navigating the nation’s mail stream today to the tune of 750 million Santa and Sleigh Forever stamps. The stamp art was inspired by the 1823 poem by Clement C. Moore, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” also known as “The Night Before Christmas” or “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

“For the past 50 years, the Postal Service has issued Christmas-themed stamps,” said U.S. Postal Service Northeast Area Vice President Richard Uluski. “And it’s no surprise that since our first 4-cent Christmas ‘Wreath and Candles’ stamp was issued back in 1962, all of our holiday stamps — 102 to date — have been extremely popular. What makes these new Santa and Sleigh stamps truly unique is that this is the first time we’ve ever had a continuous picture across four Christmas stamps.”

Holiday stamps represent nearly 10 percent of all stamp sales with more than 90 billion printed since 1962. Originally drawn in pencil on paper, the image portrays Santa Claus flying through the air in his sleigh. With a cargo of toys and gifts produced in his workshop by elves, he lands on the rooftop of house after house and slides down the chimney to leave presents for girls and boys of all ages.

Paul Rogers of Pasadena, Calif., was the stamp artist working under the direction of Howard Paine of Delaplane, Va., to create the stamp images.

 The 2012 Holy Family Forever stamp was issued Oct. 10. Other Holiday stamps include Eid, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

 Available nationwide today, in booklets of 20, the stamps can be purchased online at or by calling 800-STAMP-24 (800-782-6724).

Customers may view the Santa and Sleigh Forever stamps, as well as many of this year’s other stamps, indicate which stamps they like and vote for their favorite stamp on Facebook at, through Twitter @USPSstamps or on Beyond the Perf at Beyond the Perf is the Postal Service’s online site for background information on upcoming stamp subjects, first-day-of-issue events and other philatelic news.