This year’s Christmas stamp issue, released on November 1, is entitled Royal Mail Delivering Christmas, and shows scenes of everyday life with the postbox at their centre.

A range of pedestal, wall and pillar boxes are featured, from six different reigns, in urban and rural settings, but all in suitably wintry conditions.

As in other recent Christmas issues, eight values are available in self-adhesive guise from counter sheets, and they also appear together in a gummed miniature sheet.

The illustrations are by Andrew Davidson, who also illustrated the 1990 Christmas issue. Printing was by International Security Printers, the counter sheet stamps in gravure (in sheets of 50) and the miniature sheet in litho.

2nd class

A grandfather and granddaughter post their Christmas cards in a wall-mounted King Edward VII postbox, surrounded by snow-covered holly.

2nd Large

A wider view of the 2nd class design.

1st class

A female postal worker empties mail from a Queen Elizabeth II double-aperture pillar box in the early evening, while townsfolk admire a well-lit Christmas tree outside municipal buildings.

1st Large

A wider view of the 1st class design.

£1.25

An adult and a child stroll towards a village postbox, letters in hand, while a robin sits atop the post-mounted King George VI box enjoying the last of the daylight.

£1.45

A man carries a Christmas tree home, trudging through the snow past a Penfold pillar box of the Victorian age while carol-singers perform outside a town house.

£1.55

An elderly woman stops at a suburban King Edward VIII pillar box to post a letter while walking her dog.

£2.55

A clergyman carrying a handful of letters rushes from a village church towards a King George V pedestal box to catch the post.

OTHER PRODUCTS

The presentation pack is also illustrated by Davidon, and stamp cards are available as usual. The 1st class and 2nd class values can be purchased in retail booklets of 12.

 

PRICES

Set of 8 stamps   £9.55

Miniature sheet   £9.55

Presentation pack   £10.25

Stamp cards   £4.05

First day cover (stamps)   £12.00

First day cover (mini sheet)   £12.00

 

VERDICT

COMMEMORATIVE WORTH   4/5

Christmas stamps are not technically essential, but they have been part of the seasonal furniture for more than 50 years

QUALITY OF DESIGN   4/5

The illustrations are classy, relaxing and evocative, if a little quaint

WOW FACTOR   2/5

Seasonal issues do not really exist to catch the eye, but to blend in with the occasion