Barbara's Beat: Rudolph all Red-Nosed over Stamp of Approval

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Rudolph all Red-Nosed over Stamp of Approval

Limited Edition Forever Stamps: 

Rudolph, Hermey, Santa and Bumble

Do you still send Christmas cards? I know a lot of people don't anymore, and it's sad to lose such a wonderful tradition. Besides the memories, it brings holiday joy.

This year we can even use some great new Limited Edition Forever stamps. 

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the nation’s longest-running and highest-rated Christmas television special “went down in history” to receive its stamp of approval recently. The set of four Limited Edition Forever stamps depicting Rudolph, Hermey, Santa and Bumble were created from still television frames from the special which premiered 50 years ago in 1964.
The stamps were dedicated as part of the Postal Service’s Holiday Kickoff news conference at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. Visit the Holiday Newsroom for mailing tips, mail by dates, letters to and from Santa and other information.

“Rudolph’s story of guiding Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve has been revered by families for five decades,” said Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe in dedicating the stamps. “We’re celebrating that milestone by having our fleet of 212,000 ‘sleighs’ deliver Rudolph and his friends on 500 million Forever stamps to nearly 153 million addresses this holiday season.”

The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Limited Edition Forever stamps will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail 1-ounce price. Customers may purchase the stamps at, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide or visit to shop for a wide variety of postage stamps and collectibles. 

The name Rudolph appears on the left side in white in the same typeface used for the credits in the original special. Santa waves cheerfully from another stamp, the reins of his magical sleigh held in one hand. The name Santa is printed in the lower right corner. 

On a third stamp, the Abominable Snow Monster stares menacingly from behind crags of snow. Bumble, the nickname for the Snow Monster used by prospector Yukon Cornelius is printed along the right side. The final stamp shows Hermey, the misfit elf, touching Rudolph’s glowing red nose with the name Hermey printed along the bottom edge. 

50 Years of Television

Rankin/Bass produced the television special using stop-motion animation. In this type of production, moveable models are photographed against backgrounds, giving the images their distinctive look. Art director Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, VA, designed the stamps.

The Dec. 6, 1964, premiere featured the voice of Burl Ives as Sam, a singing snowman, who narrates the tale of a misfit reindeer who finds his own special way to shine.

In addition to the Rudolph song, the special also contains five of composer Johnny Mark’s previous songs and seven new songs that include “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” Silver and Gold,” “Jingle, Jingle, Jingle,” “The Most Wonderful Day of the Year, “There’s Always Tomorrow” and “We’re a Couple of Misfits.”  

Ordering First-Day-of-Issue Postmarks

Customers have 60 days to obtain the first-day-of-issue postmark by mail. You may purchase new stamps at your local Post Office, at The Postal Store website at, or by calling 800-STAMP-24. You should affix the stamps to envelopes of your choice, address the envelopes to yourselve or others, and place them in a larger envelope addressed to:
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Special Events

PO Box 92282

Washington, DC 20090-2282 

After applying the first-day-of-issue postmark, the Postal Service will return the envelopes through the mail. There is no charge for the postmark up to a quantity of 50. For more than 50, customers are charged five cents each. All orders must be postmarked by Jan. 5, 2015. 

Ordering First-Day Covers

The Postal Service also offers first-day covers for new stamp issues and Postal Service stationery items postmarked with the official first-day-of-issue cancellation. Each item has an individual catalog number and is offered in the quarterly USA Philatelic catalog, online at or by calling 800-782-6724. Customers may request a free catalog by calling 800-782-6724 or writing to: 
U.S. Postal Service

Catalog Request

PO Box 219014

Kansas City, MO  64121-9014

Are you sending cards? Have you already sent them? Do you plan to buy some of these new stamps? We hope you receive plently of cards and holiday wishes from loved ones.

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