To every child, Santa is someone a little different: the jolly, bearded elf who brings the year’s most popular toys; the magical, red-suited man who fills stockings with chocolate; and much, much more. He answers letters, enjoys cookies and milk, and fulfills Christmas dreams. He brings joy, comfort, and hope wherever they are needed.
It’s no small wonder that children around the globe write letters to Santa. Every year, Canada Post helps him with his mail – with an average of one million letters arriving from every corner of the world, in English, French, and 30 other languages. These precious messages contain everything from the most selfless wish lists to the most grandiose of Christmas dreams.
Stamp illustrator Christiane Beauregard was inspired by the many sides of Santa. She created three unique scenes – each with its distinct, colourful environment – in which the iconic figure writes letters, gives presents, and stands in the traditional robes of Saint Nicholas.
“The letter writing suggests a more reflective aspect of Santa’s personality,” says Beauregard of the Permanent™ stamp. “I coloured the background a rich, golden tone to radiate the warmth these letters bring to children.”
In choosing to feature Santa with his magical bag of presents on the U.S.-rate stamp, Beauregard was careful to create something new from a common Christmas image: “I injected an element of playfulness. With Santa flying through the air, there’s a touch of euphoria in the universal scene.”
To complete the three-stamp issue, Beauregard drew on the traditional roots of Saint Nicholas, using an elegant coat and decorative trimmings to evoke a mystical aura.
While the three scenes highlight different sides of Santa, it was their similarities that inspired stamp designer Hélène L’Heureux.
“In each of the three figures, the kindness and generosity of Santa emerge,” she explains. “Whether answering letters, handing out gifts, or simply expressing peace and serenity, Santa is endearing, merry and timeless.”
In honour of jolly Saint Nick, the Official First Day Cover for these festive stamps is cancelled in Saint-Nicolas, Quebec.