Christmas seals were introduced in 1907. The U.S. Postal Service and its predecessor, the Post Office Department found it problematic to use them instead of stamps.
The image shown alongside is a 1940 postcard canceled in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Christmas seal was spotted on the card by someone at the Winston-Salem post office. He or she added a 1¢ postage due to be collected from the recipient.
Since the National Tuberculosis Association suggested that users of the seals donate a penny a piece, some people started using them instead of postage stamps. $6.3 million was raised through Christmas seals in 1940.
Collectors can look to build a special collection of postcards and letters which used Christmas seals instead of postage letters every year since 1907.