For thousands of years people around the world have reflected on the Nativity story at Christmas time, and this traditional story is told through New Zealand's Christmas 2012 stamp issue.
The five gummed stamps in this issue were a beautiful reminder of the meaning behind Christmas, and the reason we all celebrate with friends and family on 25 December. The stamps have a uniquely New Zealand touch, with a pōhutukawa motif framing each of the intricately illustrated images.
Each of the Christmas stamps told part of the Nativity story. The 70c stamp shows Mary and Joseph with the newborn baby Jesus, and the $1.40 stamp features the shepherds who were tending their flocks nearby. The angel of the Lord who shared the news of Jesus's birth is shown on the $1.90 stamp, and the $2.40 and $2.90 stamps show the three wise men travelling to worship Jesus, and presenting him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Two first day covers were available in the Christmas 2012 stamp issue – one with the gummed stamps affixed, and the other with the self-adhesive stamps affixed. Both feature imagery of the pōhutukawa flower, which is widely recognised as New Zealand’s Christmas tree. During summer in New Zealand it is common to see a spectacular display of red flowers on pōhutukawa trees, particularly along New Zealand’s coastlines.
Three self-adhesive stamps were also available in denominations of 70c, $1.90 and $2.40.
Product Listing for Christmas 2012
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||3 October 2012|
|Number of stamps:||Five gummed and three self-adhesive stamps|
|Denominations:||Gummed: 70c, $1.40, $1.90, $2.40 and $2.90; Self-adhesive: 70c, $1.90 and $2.40|
|Stamps and first day covers designed by:||Donna McKenna, Wellington|
|Printer and process:||Gummed stamps and dispenser box stamps: Southern Colour Print Ltd by offset lithography; Booklets: Australia Post, Sprintpack, Australia|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours (self-adhesive tagged with red phosphor)|
|Stamp size and format:||Gummed: 30mm x 40mm (vertical); Self-adhesive: 25mm x 30mm (vertical)|
|Paper type:||Gummed: Tullis Russell 104gsm red phosphor gummed stamp paper; Dispenser box stamps: Avery Dennison B90 Kraft Black WLK5 Adhesive 210gsm; Booklets: B100 self-adhesive stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25|
|Perforation gauge:||Gummed: 14; Self-adhesive: die cut|
|Special blocks:||Plate/Imprint blocks were obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 2 October 2013.|