The U.S. Postal Service® celebrates the holidays with the Sparkling Holidays Souvenir Sheet.
The artwork for this sheet features a detail of a Haddon Sundblom painting originally published in an ad for The Coca-Cola Company in 1963. It showcases an iconic holiday scene of Santa Claus visiting a home on Christmas Eve and encompasses one stamp, a semi-jumbo version of one of the four special-sized stamps featured in the Sparkling Holidays booklet of 20. This stamp features Santa's face and hat with one hand holding a book and the other adjusting his glasses.
The souvenir-sheet format offers the opportunity to see more of Sundblom’s entire painting. In it, Santa is depicted standing by a fireplace holding a book that lists good boys and girls. Three Christmas stockings hang along the mantel, which is decorated with greens and ornaments. Peering over his glasses, Santa reads a printed note that says “Dear Santa Please Pause Here” and is signed “Jimmy.” Below the image the words “Sparkling Holidays” have been added; the vintage-inspired typography is printed with gold metallic ink.
A quatrefoil design element surrounded by a metallic gold background encloses the scene. The flow of the type and the organic shape of the border are intended to harken back to the graphic style of the first half of the twentieth century.
The Dutch Sinterklaas, inspired by St. Nicholas, a bishop from Turkey, was one of Santa’s forebearers. Sinterklaas delivered gifts on December 5, the eve of St. Nicholas’s feast day. Several 19th-century works were instrumental in creating the Santa we know today. These include the famous poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” better known by its first line, “'Twas the Night Before Christmas.” St. Nick was described as a jolly, plump elf who delivers presents on Christmas Eve, traveling on a sleigh pulled by eight flying reindeer. Cartoonist Thomas Nast further added to Santa’s appearance in his drawings for the magazine Harper’s Weekly.
Sundblom is the man credited with refining the modern image of Santa Claus. In 1931, Sundblom created the first of his more than 40 paintings of Santa Claus for The Coca-Cola Company’s holiday advertising campaign. The paintings of the rosy-cheeked, smiling, grandfatherly man in his red suit came to embody the very essence of “Santa.”
Art director Greg Breeding designed the Sparkling Holidays Souvenir Sheet with existing art by Sundblom.The Sparkling Holidays semi-jumbo stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. This Forever stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce price.
Made in the USA.
SKUs featured on this page: 566304
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