Netherlands

December Stamps 2019
04 November 2019

Netherlands: December Stamps 2019, 4 November 2019. Images from WOPA+ Stamps and Coins.

Each year, the Netherlands’ PostNL issues stamps at a reduced rate for use on Christmas mail. PostNL calls them December stamps.

According to PostNL’s press release,

This year’s PostNL December stamps were illustrated by Lieke van der Vorst. The internationally sought-after illustrator from Eindhoven was inspired by her personal memories of the month of December.

All About Family
The stamp sheet of twenty December stamps contains a drawing of a colourful parade of ten characters, both human and animal, in a winter landscape. The stamps exude a warm atmosphere due to the contrasting colours with a sky of snowflakes and stars in the background. “At my parents’ home, the Christmas holidays are all about family,” says Lieke van der Vorst. “They’re about being together, about sharing. On Christmas Day, we stay at home. On Boxing Day, we visit family and friends and everyone brings a dish with them.”

Merging Effect
The drawings on the stamps merge into each another. This has created a kind of story on the stamp sheet. “It has turned into a parade going from left to right,” says Van der Vorst. “A parade on a snowy road that ends with the polar bear at the mailbox who is sending cards to those who can’t be at the party. That completes the story.”

Special December Rates
PostNL issues new December stamps each year. With the stamps, consumers and businesses can send Christmas and New Year cards weighing up to 50g at a cheaper rate. The special December price of €0.82 per stamp applies from 4 November 2019 until 3 January 2020. This year, a sheet of 20 December stamps costs €16.40. Upon purchase of two sheets of December stamps, the buyer receives a special bag made from 100% recycled PET plastic.

Love for the World Around Her
Illustrator Lieke van der Vorst (1989) grew up in Kaatsheuvel, just north of Tilburg. Her upbringing was dominated by nature, and her love for the animal world and her immediate surroundings is reflected in her work. Her work is in great international demand, and there is a huge amount of interest in Australia and South Korea. Van der Vorst previously worked on the 2017 December stamps as one of the ten young talented individuals linked to ten famous Dutch people.

Precise Style of Working
All of the illustrations for the December stamps were drawn by Van der Vorst separately by hand on A4 paper, including the background and typography. Later she combined them on the computer with the space at the top of the sheet. In her work, she almost exclusively uses watercolour pencils and ballpoint pen to create harder lines. “Over the years, I have tried out all of the techniques,” says Van der Vorst. “But pencil and ballpoint suit me best. The advantage is that it allows you to be very precise in your work. You can control the intensity of each line by applying varying amounts of pressure.”

Availability
The December stamps are available from 4 November from 7,200 sales points in the Netherlands (including Jumbo, Albert Heijn, Bruna, Primera, Kruidvat and The Read Shop), through our website and from the Collect Club customer service on telephone number +31 (0)88 – 868 99 00. December stamps can also be used outside of the Christmas period, as long as they are accompanied by an extra stamp for the price that is valid at the time of sending.

For more information and photos:
PostNL Corporate Communication

T: +31 (0)88 868 82 60

Email: mediarelations@postnl.nl

These stamps and other products can be purchased from Nordfrim and WOPA+ Stamps and Coins.


Jersey

Christmas 2019 – A Children’s Nativity Play
20 November 2019

Jersey: Christmas 2019 – A Children’s Nativity Play, 20 November 2019. All images from Jersey Stamps.

Date of issue: 20 November 2019
Withdrawal date: 19 September 2020
Designer: Sharif Tarabay
Perforation: Kiss-cut
Sheet: 10
Size: 30mm x 40mm
Process: Offset lithorgraphy
Denominations: 45p, 52p, 59p, 67p, 80p, 85p, 99p, £1.15

Every Christmas, schoolchildren around the world perform the story of the nativity of Jesus. In Jersey, as in other parts of the world, this is a much-loved part of the Christmas festivities, bringing together teachers, children, proud parents and grandparents and signalling the end of the school term and the start of the Christmas holiday.

Traditionally, children’s nativity plays have taken the birth of Jesus as their inspiration, recreating the story of his birth with children playing the parts of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and the three wise men. In recent times, the children’s nativity play has been modernised and reimagined, incorporating traditional characters and songs as well as some more modern additions!

Eight stamps have been designed to convey the heart-warming humour of a school play. The illustrations on the stamps show the children’s delight and concentration whilst performing and at the same time, capture the emotional, often tear-jerking experience of being a proud member of the audience.

These stamps and other products can be purchased from Jersey Stamps and WOPA+ Stamps and Coins.