Royal Mail issued their first Christmas stamp in 1966. Since then, over 17 billion Christmas stamps have been printed in the UK. 
These seasonal postage stamps are very popular today, however, the UK was not the first country to issue Christmas stamps. 
Here are four of the contenders laying claim to the first Christmas postage stamp. 
Canada – 1898 
Canada produced a stamp bearing the words ‘Xmas 1898’. But many people question whether this was really a Christmas stamp at all… 
Denmark – 1904 
Denmark claims to have printed the first Christmas stamp in 1904 after an idea from postmaster, Einar Holboell, to add an extra stamp to the Christmas mail and the money go to help sick children. We need to discount this, however, as these were not valid ‘postage stamps’ - they were actually labels and not issued for postage. 
Austria – 1937 
Austria issued two stamps on 12th December 1937 for use on Christmas mail and New Year greeting cards. 
Hungary – 1943 
Many people think the 1943 Hungarian stamps to be the first real Christmas stamps as they feature religious imagery. 
So which of the above can claim to issuing the first Christmas stamp? 
Well, despite the controversy, general opinion favours Canada. Whether it was issued specifically for Christmas or not, it bears the words ‘Xmas 1898‘ and therefore it rightly deserves the title of first Christmas stamp. 
Tagged as: Christmas Mail
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