The 2019 Christmas stamps not only reflect traditional themes, but also showcase another interesting aspect of the Christian tradition – the colourfulness and grandeur of church windows.
The four special stamps depict typical Christmas motifs: a gift, a snowflake, a candle and a star. But more unusually, the designer drew inspiration from church window geometry for his creation. Church window? In the Middle Ages, it wasn’t yet possible to make large panes of glass. Instead, Gothic cathedrals had to be fitted with leaded windows. Smaller pieces of glass were held together with lead frames to form a whole. The designer has translated this technique into a modern visual language using fresh colours and a generously-proportioned graphic. On each stamp, the geometry created by the design can be seen as an individual line grid in the background. The colours chosen add an extra brilliance to the stamps. This effect is further enhanced by the use of gold and silver pigment, which gives the stamps an even more festive feel and added elegance.
Bethlehem special post office
Date: 12 to 13 December 2019
Location: Bethlehem special branch, “im Tscharni”, café and community center, Waldmannstrasse 17, 3027 Berne, Switzerland
Getting there: Tram no. 8 to the Tscharnergut stop
Thursday, 12.12.2019, 9 a.m. to 12 noon / 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday, 13.12.2019, 9 a.m. to 12 noon / 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
A letter box will also be set up from 12 December (9 a.m.) to 13 December (5 p.m.). Letter mail items that have been sent and franked with valid postage stamps will also be cancelled. Please note the applicable face values – also for registered mail. They must be sent with a franked envelope to the following address by 12 December 2019:
PostalNetwork, Cancellation Service, “Bethlehem”, Werkstrasse 41, 3250 Lyss.
Please enclose a franked, addressed envelope for returning unaddressed items for cancellation.
Berne-Bethlehem special post office to open for the last time in 2019
The traditional Christmas post office “Christmas Bethlehem” in Berne-Bethlehem is this year opening its doors for the final time. This is due to falling demand and relatively high organizational costs. There is, however, no cause for concern, because you can still decorate your Christmas post and collector’s products with this special cancellation in the future. Swiss Post’s Cancellation Service will continue to cancel any letter mail consignments it receives that have been franked with valid stamps (except for express items). On request, stamp impressions can also be applied to loose stamps from valid issues. Please send consignments and stamps in a franked envelope to the following address: PostalNetwork, Cancellation Service, “Bethlehem”, Werkstrasse 41, 3250 Lyss, Switzerland.
Please enclose a pre-franked, addressed envelope for returning unaddressed items for cancellation.
Philately: from 7.11.2019 to 31.12.2020 or while stocks last
Branches: from 14.11.2019 to 31.12.2020 or while stocks last
Unlimited from 14.11.2019
Offset, 4-colour; Joh. Enschedé, Haarlem, Netherlands
Stamps: 28 × 33 mm
Sheets: 82 × 228 mm (open), 82 × 114 mm (folded), five rows of two stamps
White stamp paper with optical brightener, self-adhesive, on backing paper, 196 gm²
Serpentine cut (4 sides)
Manuel Ort, Berne