Monday, November 28, 2011

Finish Post Office offers letters from Santa Claus

Use your smartphone to order a letter from Santa

Every year, Santa Claus receives hundreds of thousands of letters from all around the world, addressed to Santa's post office at the Finnish Arctic Circle. Since the 1990s, customers have also had the opportunity to order letters from Santa. Santa always keeps up with the times, and this Christmas Itella Posti Oy offers a new service: you can order a letter from Santa using your smartphone!

You can get the Santa's Letter phone application free of charge from App Store, Android Market or Ovi Store. Ordering a letter from Santa costs €7. The letter can be paid for with Visa and Euro/MasterCard credit cards.

With the ordering application, the customer's phone gets into the Christmas spirit with photos from Santa's post office, snowflakes and Christmas music.

Santa's letter is sent to the recipient equipped with special Christmas stamps and the polar circle's post office postmark. Santa, of course, also signs the letter. The content of the letter is a surprise.

The available language options include Finnish, Swedish, English, German, Japanese, Chinese, French, Spanish, Russian, Italian and Dutch.

Here is the link to order Santa's Personalized letter.

Santa's Letter is illustrated by Finnish artist Minna Immonen. For more information about this Finnish Stamp Designer please go to:

Order your letter by Friday, December 9, 2011. The letters will be delivered to recipients by Christmas.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Swedish Christmas Issues arrive Nov. 17 2011

Red and white flowers embody the spirit of Christmas

The last time Sweden Post issued Christmas stamps with flowers was 2008, and the stamps depicted five different wreaths hanging on decorated doors. These stamps were designed by Gunnar Kaj, the famous flower arranger, who has also been involved in selecting the four flowers that will be used in this year’s Christmas stamps.

There are several types of Christmas cactus (Schiumbergera x buckley?) and their flowers come in different colors, including red. The Christmas cactus is a hybrid within the cactus family and it is related to the November cactus.

Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherr?ma) is a species of the spurge family and is native to Mexico. In the wild, poinsettias can grow to be several meters high, but it has been possible to create smaller versions that are more suitable as potted plants.

There are more than twenty different species of blooming plants within the Christmas rose (Helleborus) family, of which the majority are found on the Balkan Peninsula. Despite its name and similar appearance, the Christmas rose is not related to the rose.

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum x hortorum) is a hybrid in the Amaryllis family and has been cultivated in countless variations over the years. The stamp depicts a white amaryllis. Today’s modern versions are the result of several hundred years of experimentation; the first hybrid was created in England in 1799.

The stamp Designer

The stamps were designed by Molly Bark and were printed by the Offset method of printing. The stamps measure  26.6 by 31.25mm. The first day cover for this issue was also designed by Molly and features a Hyacinth. The First Day Cancel features a Poinsettia.

To order these stamps and other items go to

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Finland Issues Chrismas Stamps November 7

Elves designed by the renowned postcard artist Kaarina Toivanen are the theme of this year's Finnish Christmas stamps. The Soft Christmas stamp, valued at EUR 0.55, has a smiling boy elf surrounded by balls of wool and stuffed toys. On a 2nd class stamp called Active Christmas a lively girl elf is swinging on a straw mobile. Kaarina Toivanen was given a free hand in the Christmas postcard design. She submitted ten stamp drafts and the art committee selected two of them for making the Soft Christmas and Active Christmas stamps. Kaarina Toivanen has also designed several elf-themed postcards and packaging materials for Itella Posti Oy's Christmas sales this year. Kaarina Toivanen (born in 1959) is one of the most renowned postcard artists in Finland, and her signature style will appear on Christmas stamps this year. Toivanen's visual themes are rural and focus on tradition and nature. The pictures are filled with funny animals, men and women, but elves are the visual theme that the artist herself enjoys the most.

The Christmas stamps will be available for sale on Monday, November 7.

Two stamps, published at the same time with the Christmas stamps, are perfect for winter greetings after the Christmas season.

A new 2nd class personalized stamp frame will be published in November, and Posti's personalized stamp is based on it. The theme of the stamp is a frosty rosehip. From now on, customers can order personalized stamps in both payment categories: 1st and 2nd class. The personalized stamp frame and the Rosehip stamp were designed by Susanna Rumpu and Ari Lakaniemi.

Christmas greetings outside Finland are well accompanied by the 1st class Light in the window stamp designed by Aino-Maija Metsola and Georgi Eremenko.

Elf-themed Christmas cards, packaging material and message-in-a-bottle designed by Kaarina Toivonen will also be available for sale in Finland before Christmas. Itella Posti Oy (the Finish Post Office ) will publish a message-in-a-bottle with a girl elf as the theme. Inside the small plastic bottle, there is paper where you can write your message.

A6-size Christmas cards produced by Posti will be sold in five-card packages at Posti shops, Posti's online shop and most postal agency shops. The cards are particularly suitable to be sent with this year's Christmas stamps.

Two gingerbread-cookie-shaped post cards designed by Kaarina Toivanen will also be available for sale.

Technical Details for this new set of four stamps are as follows:

Cuddly Christmas

Kaarina Toivanen 

Value: €0.55
Issue: 42,000,000 stamps
Design: Kaarina Toivanen
Perforation: die cut
Size: stamps 34.5 x 24.5 mm, sheet 213 x 150 mm
Paper: self-adhesive stamp paper
Printer: Walsall Security Printers, UK
Printing method: 5/1 web offset
First day cover and postmark: Kaarina Toivanen

Swinging Christmas

Value: 2nd class
Amount issued: 6,000,000 stamps                                  For more information on this artist see:
Design: Kaarina Toivanenhttp                 
Perforation: die cut                                                           
Size: 24.5 x 34.5 mm, sheet: 162 x 109 mm
Paper: self-adhesive stamp paper
Printer: Walsall Security Printers, UK
Printing method: 5/1 web offset
First day cover and postmark: Kaarina Toivanen


Value: 2nd class                                             Post office website: //
Issue: 260,000 stamps
Design: Susanna Rumpu and Ari Lakaniemi
Perforation: die cut
Size: stamps 45 x 35 mm, sheet 210 x 297 mm
Paper: self-adhesive stamp paper, the stamp glue is not water-soluble
Printer: Cartor Security Printing, France
Printing method: 6-color offset
First day cover and postmark: Susanna Rumpu and Ari Lakaniemi

Light in the window

Value: 1st class

 Amount issued: 7,000,000 miniature sheets      
Design: Aino-Maija Metsola and Georgi Eremenko
Perforation: die cut
Size: stamps 24.5 x 34.5 mm, booklet: 82 x 243 mm open, 82 x 61 mm folded
Paper: self-adhesivestamp paper
Printer: Joh. Enschedé Stamps, the Netherlands
Printing method: 5/1 web offset
First day cover and postmark: Aino-Maija Metsola and Georgi Eremenko