Christmas Seals Discover the Christmas custom, story, myth and legend associated with Christmas Seals. This festive tradition and Christmas custom, with its familiar symbol and meaning, has evolved over time. But what is the history, meaning and origin of Christmas Seals? This article provides facts and information about the history of Christmas Seals as a familiar symbol, tradition and Christmas custom.
What are Christmas Seals? What are Christmas Seals? Definition: Christmas Seals are stickers placed on mail during the festive season to raise funds for charitable programs. Christmas Seals are referred to as 'Cinderella stamps' which are defined as "Virtually anything resembling a postage stamp, but not issued for postal purposes by a government postal administration...".
US Christmas Seal dated 1925
The Christmas Custom, Origin and History of Christmas Seals - 1903 The Xmas custom of attaching Christmas Seals to mail started in Denmark in 1903. A Danish postman called Einar Holboell was sorting piles of Xmas mail in a post office just outside Copenhagen. Einar Holboell was a compassionate man and moved by the plight of poor children and less fortunate people than himself. Sorting the mail it occurred to him that every Xmas letter, or Xmas parcel, could carry an extra stamp and the proceeds of the stamp could go to charity. This simple idea had the potential to raise large sums of money for charity from small donations that would cost very little. Einar Holboell explained his idea to his colleagues who were as enthusiastic as he was. Unfortunately there was not enough time to put the idea into action for Xmas 1903.
The Christmas Custom, Origin and History of Christmas Seals - 1904 The Xmas custom of attaching Christmas Seals to mail started in earnest in 1904. The postal workers worked on a design and financial projections. The idea was so good that they went to the king of Denmark and outlined their scheme. King Christian IX gave the idea his 'seal of approval' added his own suggestion. King Christian suggested that that the first issue of Christmas seals should carry a picture of Queen Louise as a sign that he and his wife fully endorsed the idea. The Christmas seals were launched in time for Xmas of 1904 and the campaign was even more successful than the postmen had hoped. Four million of the Christmas Seals were sold in Denmark in December 1904.
Christmas Seals - The Charities The funds raised from the sales of Christmas Seals in 1904 and then 1905 were donated to charities for children and also for charities who helped people with tuberculosis. Two hospitals for treatment of tuberculosis children were built due to the charitable donations of ordinary citizens.
Christmas Seals idea - Stamp out tuberculosis! Norway and Sweden followed Denmark in 1906 and offered the festive stickers to their people. Once again the Christmas Seals were a great success. In 1907 news of the idea for Christmas Seals reached North America. Dr. Joseph P. Wales desperately needed $300 to help his patients with tuberculosis and he asked his cousin, Emily Bissell, to help to raise the money. Emily Bissell remembered a magazine article sent to her by Jacob Riis, a Danish American, telling about how the Danish people had begun to fight tuberculosis by buying Christmas Seals to decorate their Xmas letters and parcels. Many people objected to the idea but eventually Miss Bissell caught the imagination of a newspaper and with the slogan 'Stamp out tuberculosis!" they sold the Christmas Seals with their newspapers. The festive sticker campaign was a great success in America and the following year a similar Christmas Seals campaign was adopted by Canada.
Christmas Seals idea continues... Christmas Seal funds are now used for research into ways and means of preventing and treating respiratory diseases. Money raised from the sale of Christmas Seals is also used for the operation of community programs.
Christmas Seals Xmas is celebrated worldwide, throughout the Christian population of approximately 2275 million people, but is also celebrated by many non-Christians as a secular, cultural festival. A Xmas custom or tradition is symbolized by a familiar symbol or icon, such as Xmas Seals, have come to represent the spirit and meaning of this special time of the year.
The history, meaning and origin of this familiar symbol
Old Customs, Symbols and Traditions
Meaning and origin of this traditional Xmas custom
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Meaning, history and origin of traditional symbols
A Religious Christian meaning, Pagan origins or a Modern Xmas custom?
"Merry Christmas, have a happy and prosperous New Year!"