The 2¢ Imperial Penny Canadian Postage Stamp inscribed “XMAS 1898” was the first in the world to celebrate Christmas. 3¢ and 5¢ stamps depicting a family and the Star of Bethlehem to frank holiday mail was introduced in 1964. After that year onwards, Christmas stamps were issued by Canada annually.
This year’s Christmas Stamps were released on 3rd November featuring a 16th-century painting Adoration of the Shepherds by Florentine artist Tommaso di Stefano Lunetti. The sacred issue for 2017 features a circa 1520-40 oil-on-panel painting from Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario, displayed as an altarpiece. The painting is based on Luke’s gospel when the angels announced the birth of Jesus to shepherds.
A polar bear with a scarf under a starry sky is featured on this year’s Christmas Stamps from Canada. The $1.20 stamp for letters to the US features a cardinal with a sprig of holly. The $2.50 stamp for letters to other countries features caribou with stars coming from its antlers.
The 2017 Christmas stamps were issued as self-adhesives in booklets of 12 for the sacred and Polar Bear stamps, and booklets of six for the Cardinal and Caribou stamps. The three Christmas Animals stamps are se-tenant in 100,000 souvenir sheets The first-day cover for the Christmas Animals stamp comes with the souvenir sheet and postmarked with a golden sprig of berries from Cardinal, Ontario. The FDC features a Star of Bethlehem canceled from Toronto.