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Stamps for Special Occasions – What are Special Stamps?

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While snail mail has definitely been declining since it has been replaced by email, a lot of people still value and cherish old fashioned writing. Ask anyone in this hi-tech world, and most would admit to be excited to see real mail on their old mail box, well, as long as it is not a bill or an advertisement. Among the great joys of traditional mail are the stamps that are also starting to become extinct. Stamps add a nice, nostalgic feel to mailed envelopes, and they can also be collected as a hobby.

Stamps are nice by themselves especially now that their use are becoming more seldom. But there are stamps that have more charm and character than others. These are special stamps, usually released and used for special occasions. Special stamps are certain kinds of postage stamps that are intended to be use on holidays and other occasions that occur regularly. Christmas stamps are among the most common examples of special stamps. During the yuletide season, stamps with holiday designs are released and used, usually to accompany Christmas cards.

Special stamps are usually confused with definitive stamps and commemorative stamps as their characteristics are very similar. Like definitive stamps, special stamps can be used for postage, but special stamps are more elaborate and attractive. Definite stamps are just regular stamps, the ones people see in the mail every day. Like commemorative stamps, special stamps celebrate specific events, but they are issued a few weeks before the occasion rather than on the day of the occasion itself, this allows specials stamps to be available during the season in mind. Unlike commemorative stamps, which are primarily for collecting purposes, special stamps are used by more people as they are released during occasions when people send a lot of mail. The production of special stamps are not as limited as that of the commemorative stamps since special stamps are usually intended to be used for a period of time rather than just a one-day event.

Christmas is not the only occasion when special stamps are released. Some time around Valentine’s Day, love-themed stamps are released in the US, since 1973. They are typically used for sending valentine cards and packages. Some love-themed stamps are also used for sending wedding invitations throughout the year. In Japan, where New Year’s Day is more celebrated than Christmas, New Year stamps are also released.

Some places issue special stamps for United Nations Day, independence day, or other national holidays, but such stamps are usually used as commemorative stamps since rarely would people send United Nations Day cards as much as they would send Christmas greetings.

Certain special stamps released by the United States and the United Kingdom have failed because they are rather too specialized. Examples of which are birthday stamps and get well soon stamps. Rarely did they appear in the mail because such occasions are too scattered to for people to buy stamps for them by bulk as people would for Valentine’s and Christmas.

The more popular special stamps are successful because they can be used whenever the occasion they celebrate comes. This is especially true in the United States, where stamps usually retain their value and validity, making them usable even after several years. Thus this year’s special Christmas Stamp can still be used for the next Christmas and several Christmases thereafter.

Some other recently popular special stamps are those that signify a special theme of the year. For instance, places that observe Chinese traditions, like the Chinese zodiac, issue special stamps that celebrate the assigned animal for that year (e.g. Year of the Dog stamps). There are also special stamps that would depict pictures of things and personalities that normally would not appear in stamps, an example of this would be Disney stamps, some of which can be used for postage while still having a decorative purpose.

Receiving traditional, old-fashioned letters is still very much fun today especially when snail mail is become hard to be received. But getting mail with special stamps could definitely add more fun to the joys of getting postage. With special stamps, waiting for the postman can still be enjoyed even by the coming generations.

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