Sunday, December 18, 2011


When my father died in 1960 my sister Barbara inherited his large stamp collection. As I mentioned in an earlier post Dad had collected stamps since he was a boy and even sold off some valuable ones during the depression in the 30’s.

Among his collection was a box of Christmas stamps dating back to the early 20th century. About 10 years ago Barbara sorted through the box and found that there were many duplicates. She decided to make use of them and very creatively designed the plate that you see here. Barbara started with a clear glass plate, glued the stamps to the bottom of the plate and then covered it all with red felt. It was her Christmas gift to me that year.

Actually the idea of Christmas seals was not original to the United States. It started in Denmark but became a national program here in 1908. The seals were sold at post offices for a penny each and the proceeds went to the Red Cross and the Study and Prevention of Tuberculosis.

The Red Cross withdrew from the arrangement in 1920 and from then on it was conducted exclusively for TB. President Roosevelt, who suffered from Polio, endorsed the campaign in 1936 and it took off from there. Today, since TB has become curable, the Christmas seals benefit the American Lung Association and other lung related issues


Blogger Anvilcloud said...

That's a piece of creative memorabilia as well as a good look at the Christmas Seals program.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Bonnie Jacobs said...

What a great gift from your sister -- and ultimately, from your father.

7:42 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

I remember helping my mother put Christmas seals on the back side of our Christmas card envelopes. They still send them to me but I never get around to using them. I loved your story about them.

4:23 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

What a great keepsake!! How interesting to see all those.

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Big John said...

What a great present.
As a bit of an old collector I love anything like that.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous schmidleysscribblins, said...

What a great post Ginnie, and I do remember those Christmas seals. We always put them on the backside of the Christmas cards. Such a lovely memory bubble. Thanks, Dianne

8:20 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

A one of a kind gift is always the most special one of all.

4:53 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Ginnie, what a lovely gift idea your sister had to display those stamps and I'm sure it brought back mamories of your father. I remember the Christmas seals and using them on our cards.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

I have an old milk glass plate of my grandparents that has stamps on it. I remember how cool I thought those easter seals were when I was a kid. Thanks for sharing your gift.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

What a lovely seasonal plate. I have a relative who hand painted the Christmas plates for one on the British pottery companies for twelve years. My oldest aunt was finally able to collect the whole set. It is a great family treasure. Your plate is very inventive with such lovely connections to your family.

9:07 AM  

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