New U.S. Stamps – Patriotic Waves

Today the United States Postal Service issued a new stamp, Patriotic Waves. This is a special $1 denomination stamp. The description is as follows:

$1 Patriotic Wave features red and blue intersecting lines on a white background in an abstract pattern reminiscent of billowing flags. A portion on the lower right side of the stamp provides white space to display the numeral 1 in red. This unique design lends a patriotic appearance to packages, envelopes, and other mailings.

New Holiday Stamps

The United States Postal Service has issued new stamps for the holiday season while keeping many of the wonderful stamps from previous years. The two newest holiday stamps are Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Christmas Magi.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer was issued on November 6, 2014 and is a Forever Stamp, currently at $0.49. The description is as follows:

On the evening of December 6, 1964, families sat down to watch a new TV show for the first time: an animated special called Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. It featured the voice of Burl Ives as Sam, a singing snowman, who narrates the tale of a misfit reindeer who finds his own special way to shine. The hour-long show went on to become not only the longest-running and highest-rated Christmas special in TV history, but also a beloved holiday tradition.

Rudolph and his friends now bring their own brand of joy and nostalgia to four holiday stamps. The stamp artwork features still frames from the special, which was produced by Rankin/Bass using stop-motion animation. In this type of production, moveable models are photographed against backgrounds, giving the images their distinctive look. Rudolph, Santa, and the Abominable Snow Monster all star on stamps of their own, while a fourth stamp features Hermey, the elf who dreams of becoming a dentist, touching Rudolph’s glowing red nose.

In order to create the special, new characters (including the Abominable Snow Monster and Hermey) were added to those featured in the poem written by Robert L. May and the song written by Johnny Marks.

In addition to the Rudolph song, the special also contains five of composer Johnny Marks’s previous songs and seven new songs that include “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Silver and Gold,” “Jingle, Jingle, Jingle,” “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year,” “There’s Always Tomorrow” and “We’re a Couple of Misfits.”

And as for Rudolph, the star of the show? As the millions of fans of the classic animated special know, he went down in history!

The other new holiday stamp is Christmas Magi. It was issued on November 19, 2014 and is also a Forever Stamp, currently at $0.49. The description is as follows:

The U.S. Postal Service® celebrates one of the most beloved stories of the Nativity with an evocative and elegant new stamp, Christmas Magi.

The stamp art illustrates the traditional tale of the Magi, who came bearing gifts for Jesus. The three regal figures sit atop a trio of bedecked and harnessed camels, the animals almost at the summit of a small hill. Guiding them is a large, dazzling star shining in the sky. The colors in the sky range from a rose near the horizon, darkening to a rich purple at the top, suggesting that the travelers are moving through the desert at dawn. The figures are silhouetted against the background, with the details of their headdresses and the camels’ saddles just visible in the brightening light. The star, located in the upper left-hand corner of the picture, is a brilliant white.

The story of the Magi appears in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 2. There is little detail about the Magi in the Gospel. Matthew called them “Magi,” a term for Persian priests, astrologers, or scholars. The Gospel never refers to a specific number; the number three was likely influenced by the number of gifts left for the child-gold, frankincense, and myrrh. However, the earliest traditions are inconsistent with regard to how many Magi there were. The Eastern tradition favored twelve Magi, while in the West, several early Church fathers accepted the number three.

Over the centuries other details have been added to the story, including the names of the Magi: Gaspar, or Casper; Melchior; and Balthasar. One early reference to their names comes in a seventh century work attributed to St. Bede. He gave the Magi the attributes of men at different stages of life, elderly, young, and middle-aged: Melchior, an old man with white hair and a long beard; Caspar, young and beardless with a ruddy complexion; and Balthasar, with black skin and a heavy beard. Later traditions added the notion that the three came from Europe, Asia, and Africa, thus completing their symbolism as representatives of the world as it was known to Europeans at the time.

Represented in art and music since the earliest centuries of the church, the Magi are a much-loved part of the Christmas tradition. The story is retold many times each season in hymns and in Christmas pageants and performances.

These along with other holiday stamps are available now at your local United States Postal Service or usps.com!

From Maria in Belarus

I recently received this cute little postcard from Maria in Belarus. It took 55 days for it to reach me!

This may have been a hand made postcard, as it felt very thin and like a photograph. Either way, the sleepy little fox was adorable and I really appreciated it!


Postcards primarily sent via Postcrossing, an online community that allows people from all over the world to send and receive postcards.

To Aksana in Belarus

I got quite a lot of postcards while vacationing in Boston recently. I chose to send a postcard showing a beautiful night view of the city of Boston to Aksana.

I wrote to her about my love for the city and it’s mix of the old city as well as new and modern elements. She enjoyed this postcard and I noticed a random Postcrossing user called Sunnia added it to her favorites!


Postcards primarily sent via Postcrossing, an online community that allows people from all over the world to send and receive postcards.

To Menno in the Netherlands

In honor of Patriot Day, I chose to write about a postcard I recently sent off to Menno in the Netherlands!

I got a few copies of this postcard while vacationing in Boston, Massachusetts. I just think that it is so fun! Menno also thought it was a great postcard, as he added it to his favorites on Postcrossing. It shows so many iconic things about America and different parts of the country without being too obnoxious like some patriotic illustrations can be. I really like this one!


Postcards primarily sent via Postcrossing, an online community that allows people from all over the world to send and receive postcards.

To deltlover in Canada

I never did catch the real name of deltlover. He explained in his profile that “deltlover is short for deltiology lover. Deltiology is the study and collection of postcards.” I never knew that! I suppose I am a deltlover as well!

I didn’t really have a postcard to match his specific requests, but I did have a similar one. He wanted postcards showing couples, love and commitment. I chose this postcard of a family that I felt may have shown similar attributes.

Plus, I think postcards with photographs like this that show cultural history are very neat! Deltlover appreciated this card that I sent and even included it in his Favorites on the Postcrossing website. I am always glad when a postcard I send gives the person joy!


Postcards primarily sent via Postcrossing, an online community that allows people from all over the world to send and receive postcards.

To Ellie in Taiwan

One of the things Ellie wanted in the postcards sent to her was images and stories of the sender’s village or town. I had a few reprints of vintage postcards from my hometown, so I thought that she would enjoy that!

This church was named after U.S. President McKinley, who grew up in the same town I grew up in. I don’t think this church is still around. There are historical markers around the town where buildings used to stand, but many are no longer there.

I hope she enjoys this little snippet of my hometown!


Postcards primarily sent via Postcrossing, an online community that allows people from all over the world to send and receive postcards.