This year, the Canada Post Christmas stamps recall the history of the December 25th tradition. Entitled Madonna and Child, this issue celebrates the birth of Christ through illustrations of stained glass windows depicting the Madonna and baby Jesus. The design firm, Eskind Waddell, conducted a Canada-wide search for glass works of the Madonna and Child. Those selected represent different religious denominations and various regions within Canada. In each image, the closeness between mother and child is conveyed, giving the stamp a warm, human feel. Scheduled for release on November 3, these stamps represent the exceptional talent of three artists - Guido Nincheri, Ellen Simon and Christopher Wallis - and highlight a remarkable art form.
Among the most talented stained glass artists of the twentieth century, Ellen Simon, a native of Toronto, created the "Nativity Scene" illustrated on the U.S.-rate stamp in the Christmas series. Designed by Simon, this window was executed by one of her teachers, Yvonne Williams, prior to 1954. It resides in the United Church in Leith, Ontario north of Owen Sound. Born in 1915, Simon was educated at the Ontario College of Art and the Art Students League of New York. Her noted works include stained glass windows in Toronto's Trinity College and the Princeton University Chapel. Simon has also created book and magazine illustrations, and has lithographs in the permanent collections of National Gallery of Canada, the Toronto Art Gallery and the Vienna Public Library of New York. Though she resides in New York City, Simon writes that she is "very much a Canadian citizen".