The 1983 Contemporary and Traditional Christmas stamps were issued on October 28 in separate locations. Both stamps were printed in the standard commemorative size.
The Traditional Christmas stamp was issued in Washington, DC, and featured Raphael's Madonna and Child. The painting hangs in the National Gallery of Art, where the First Day of Issue ceremony was held. The stamp was designed by John Berkey of Excelsior, Minnesota, and modeled by Esther Porter.
The Contemporary Christmas stamp was issued in Santa Claus, Indiana, where the name of the city added a seasonal significance to the First Day of Issue cancellation. The design, by Bradbury Thompson of Riverside, Connecticut, featured Santa Claus. Ronald C. Sharpe modeled the stamp.
Both stamps were printed in the photogravure process, with fifty stamps per pane.
Postal Bulletin (September 22, 1983).