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Christmas stamps for the age of post-Christianity

I’ve just got off the phone with my mother, who included in among all the family chat some grumbles about this year’s Christmas stamps. She prefers more obviously Christmassy imagery, and she said the people at her local Post Office didn’t much care for them either. What are they? – she said. I’d heard distant grumblings about these stamps, and had seen the one with the ice twiddling around a tree because presumably that was the one which people were particularly grumbling about. Controversial blah blah. But I hadn’t seen all of them, or given any of them any thought until my mother mentioned them.

I should guess that there is a sort of ideological agenda here, in the form of a non-agenda. They avoid anything very Christian. Like most readers of this blog I should guess, I utterly despise the notion that Christian Christmas stuff should be set aside in order not to upset Muslim stroke atheists. (a) No sane Muslim stroke atheist could possibly be upset. (b) If insane Muslim stroke atheists are upset, to hell with them.

Nevertheless, and perhaps because I am myself a devout atheist, I actually quite like these particular stamps, although I do agree that the ice twiddle one is rather silly. I especially like the ice star. But I’m guessing others might prefer something more along these lines.

23 comments to Christmas stamps for the age of post-Christianity

  • Joe

    I’m with you Brian. Denatured non-ceremonial non-christmas “seasonal” pap? bleh! Nothing actually offends more that pandering or misrepresenting a philosophy or sentiment.

    This a.m. I was on the phone with another designer. She hesitated at the end of a conversation and said “have a great week”.
    I paused, trying not to laugh and wished her a Merry Christmas. I’m Catholic. I think that I’m allowed to say that, even to -say- an atheist. Why people think it impermissable to wish someone well from one’s own philisophical position is bewildering to me. Mostly it’s pathetic.

    Fearful of even wishing someone the pap-ish “happy holiday”…. sheez louise.

  • Sal M

    They’re nice stamps, but they say “Winter” more than they say “Christmas”. Toss in a bit of Christian imagery or some Santa imagery (heck, even Frosty the Gender Neutral Snowball) and you’ve got “Christmas”.

  • Amelia

    Your mom’s right, those ice ball, ice hole stamps look miserable.

  • David Crawford

    “b) If insane Muslim stroke atheists are upset…”

    Of course they won’t be too upset to take the day off with pay, now will they?

  • Snorre

    Yeah, nice winter stamps–but Christmas stamps? Hah!
    The Norwegian stamps are ok, but I think I’d like them better if it featured a bit more traditional nisse.

  • Surely everybody in England is using these ones for their Christmas cards Brian?

  • This year’s Australian Christmas stamps have very obvious Christian imagery. There may not be anything obviously sinister about these British ones. It may be just that they chose an uninteresting design this year. It has to happen once in a while.

  • After pulling up the Google search engine, I used “anti-Bush” as a search word. After clicking on the very first reference, I then clicked on the “Weblogs” hyperlink. Incidentally, nearly 400 are listed. But let’s not stop there. Underneath that list is a hyperlink to a site that does list those most important 100 weblogs, yours among them. After visiting your weblog, I got the impression you’d like reading the text between the starred blocks.

    * * * *
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    Oh, how I would love to bet five doughnuts to anybody’s three! Some sixty (60) years from now, a hundred years after JFK’s assassination, some mass media outlet will do a retrospective on the man and “Camelot”. And the institutions dedicated to his memory will be flourishing. By then, former President Ronald (a/k/a “The Great Communicator”) Reagan will have been relegated to history’s curio shoppe. Chances are, the curators of the Reagan Library will have to made ends meet by adding on a bed-and-breakfast section … maybe, a massage parlour, even.

    Aaay, let’s face it. Compared against the swan that was Jackie-O, Nancy comes across like a guano-spattered shrike. That alone is enough to drive the right-wing up the wall. * * * *

    Well, if you’ve come this far, you must’ve enjoyed the text between the starred blocks. Just so happens, it’s an excerpt from an article that was recently published on the Internet. Just in case, you’d be interested in reading the whole article, I’ve enclosed a hyperlink in this courriel.

    Before clicking on it, though, you might like to know the hyperlink connects to an index of sorts that lists recently published articles. Furthermore, the excerpt is found in the “Yoko” piece.

    Maybe, more to your interests, you might like to peruse the “Palestine” piece, for which I’ve gotten a few compliments. I’ve been told it explains, in large part, the peculiar behavior of the United States with regard to the Middle East, since the end of World War II.

    And now, here’s the promised HYPERLINK.

    The administrators of some websites I had visited have asked me for credentials. A reasonable enough request, I suppose. To honor such requests, I’ve replied with the following directions.

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    warm regards


    p.s – I almost forgot to include this bit of information. The administrator for the http://www.theworriedshrimp.com website took me up on my offer to display my copyrighted and historically corrected version of the Confederate Battle Banner. So, here’s another link for your edification: http://www.theworriedshrimp.com/ToonReviews.html

    When I was in the service, my ship’s captain was obsessed with “belt and suspenders”. Maybe, he had a point. And so, here’s the U.R.L undergirding the above hyperlink:


  • speedwell

    I’m an atheist, and I totally don’t mind if Christians wish me a Merry Christmas, and I don’t mind wishing them one in return; it’s THEIR holiday after all. I would do the same equally to a Jewish friend who wished me a Happy Hanukkah, or a Muslim who wished me, oh, Happy Ramadan or something, or even to a pagan who wished me a happy Yule (which happened yesterday).

    I hope I don’t hear any mean-spirited bitching when I wish them a, say, Happy Darwin Day (on the appropriate day).

  • Chris Josephson

    The US Postal service isn’t taking any chances.
    The ‘Holiday Stamps’ have Jewish, Muslim, African-American (Kwanzaa) and Christian themes.

    You pick the theme you want.

    Here’s a URL:

    US Holiday Stamps

  • Rike

    Last week a (liberal?) muslim wished me (an atheist, as he knows) a Merry Christmas. I have to admit I was slightly astonished.

  • Rike: Nothing wrong with that as I see it. Christmas is a time when we give one another gifts, feast, drink and hopefully enjoy ourselves. A belief in God is not necessary to enjoy the festival.

  • I hate political correctness but I like the British stamps. Nothing wrong with a design that is just seasonal. It prevents the problem of having Christmas stamps left over after Christmas.

  • In Latvia, Christianity and Jesus are very much a part of Christmas and postal stamps — just take a loot at this:

  • cardeblu

    Rike, I agree with Michael. The two of you just experienced the Christmas Spirit, that’s all. Good Tidings!

  • Mark Ellott

    I guess having to come up with new designs every year they run out of “new” themes? I’m not sure I can get too worked up about this one – they’re just stamps afeter all.

    As a confirmed athiest, I really don’t care if they have religious connotations or not – this is after all, a pagan festival celebrating the turn of the winter; the christians merely hijacked it as the world of commerce has done more recently. Frankly, it is the cheesy adverts (such as the Coca Cola one) I find sick making, not religious images. I think anyone who believes athiests will be offended by people overtly publicising their religious beliefs is overstating the case – just because I don’t believe in something myself doesn’t mean I don’t respect those who do.

  • Keith Johnson

    Farging Ice Holes!

  • Christmas is a Christian festival, so Christian imagery makes sense. The latvian stamp is rather pretty, I think.
    But stamps are just stamps, people are still free to send Christmas cards with religious imagery.
    If we had competing postal services, there might well be more choice in stamp designs. Everyone would be happy.

  • Stuart

    As an oppressed Welsh rugby fan I am offended by the racist imagery in Michael’s post, and I demand it is removed or I will call the CRE. 🙁

    Merry Christmas.

  • Dave O'Neill

    I don’t have the conviction to be a full on atheist, but agnostic definately fits the bill.

    I was in the US last week and got pretty annoyed with people wishing me a happy holiday. It’s Christmas, I like Christmas – can’t people just accept that?

  • Andrew Duffin

    A pity your link to great Nativity paintings didn’t include the greatest of them all – Tintoretto’s masterpiece in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venezia.

    I’m atheist too but hey it’s a Christian Festival, of course there should be Christian imagery. Why ever not?

    A Happy Christmas to all you curmudgeons out there.

    Bah Humbug!

  • Michael

    Christmas has it’s origins long before Christianity. Yule traditions were incorparated into Christmas. Then through the centuries christmas has gained all sorts of imagery and traditions (Santa Claus’ red coat from Coca-Cola, Santa Claus from Dutch legends e.t.c.)

    For me it’s about the joy of living……..and there’s nothing I like to do more that raise a glass to that.

  • “The US Postal service isn’t taking any chances.
    The ‘Holiday Stamps’ have Jewish, Muslim, African-American (Kwanzaa) and Christian themes.”

    Holy shit! I was going to make a joke about issuing Muslim Christmas stamps, but reality, as usual, got there first.