Hungary

Christmas 2019
05 November 2019

Hungary: Christmas 2019, 5 November 2019. Images from Magyar Posta Ltd..

Order code: 2019310010031 (stamp)
2019312040031 (stamp sheet)
2019310060032 (FDC with stamp)
2019311040031 (special miniature sheet)2019311060032 (FDC with special stamp)
Issued on: 5 November 2019
Face value/selling price: Domestic (HUF 120 at the time of issue, which pays the postage of a domestic non-priority standard letter up to 30 g, a postcard or a picture postcard.)
Printing technique: flexo
Number of copies: dependent on demand
Perforated size: 26×33 mm
Imperforated size of the miniature sheet: 29 x 220 mm
Paper type: Self-adhesive, matte eco paper
Manufacturer: Pátria Nyomda Zrt.
Designed by: Krisztina Maros

Similarly to the previous years, Magyar Posta is issuing a postage stamp for sending Christmas wishes in 2019. The stamp is self-adhesive and has no value indication, bearing the inscription “Domestic”. It is released in standard and special editions. The standard edition is in sheets of fifty stamps, while the special edition is a miniature sheet of five stamps. The festive stamp features an image of the three kings, the envelope shows the holy family, and the postmark features a candle motif. The novelties were designed by the graphic artist Krisztina Maros and were produced by Pátria Nyomda. The new issue will be available at first day post offices and Filaposta in Hungary from 5 November 2019, and may also be ordered from Magyar Posta’s online store.

The wise men of the east depicted on the stamp, as we read in the Gospel of Matthew, were led by a star to the baby Jesus in Bethlehem. Folk tradition refers to them as the “three kings”, and Attila József mentions them by name in his poem titled “Kings of Bethlehem”.The press sheet of 50 stamps is enlivened by visual elements and festive greetings in Hungarian, English, German and French on the barcode and the selvedge.

A grid, which was previously removed during printing, aids separating the stamps from the sheet. On the special miniature sheet flexographic printing was combined with sparkling paint printing, resulting in shiny details on the stamps.

These stamps and other products can be purchased from Magyar Posta Ltd. and WOPA+ Stamps and Coins..


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.