Heavenly post: the Royal Mail’s new Christmas stamps, depicting scenes from the Nativity, were issued on Tuesday. The design alternates each year between religious and secular themes. The first-class stamp shows Mary holding Jesus, and the second-class stamp depicts an angel appearing to Joseph in a dream. The stamps also contain the Bible references of the scenes which they portray. The Royal Mail said that this was to “recognise that 2011 is the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible”.
The Royal Mail is encouraging people to post their Christmas cards early “to help postmen and women deliver the bumper festive mailbag”, which is expected to contain about two billion items. Recommended posting dates for mail to arrive in time for Christmas are: Tuesday 20 December for first class; Saturday 17 December for second class mail; and Thursday 22 December for special deliveries