The Postal Service celebrate the holiday season by issuing five Christmas stamps in 1996.
The traditional stamp, a 32-cent Madonna and Child, was issued in a pane of fifty and a self-adhesive convertible booklet of twenty, on November 1, 1996, in Richmond, Virginia. Designed by Richard Sheaff of Norwood, Massachusetts, the stamp features the Madonna and Child, a detail from the painting "The Adoration of the Shepherds" (circa 1712). Considered one of Paolo de Matteis' masterpieces, the painting typifies the late Baroque or early Rococo style of Naples. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced both panes and booklets in the offset/intaglio process.
The contemporary Christmas stamps included four 32-cent Family Scenes stamps, in a pane of fifty and a self-adhesive convertible booklet of twenty, and a 32-cent Skaters stamp, in a self-adhesive convertible ATM booklet of eighteen. The stamps were issued on October 8, 1996, in North Pole, Alaska. Designed by first-time stamp artist Julia Talcott of Newton, Massachusetts, the illustrations on these stamps feature scenes of family, sharing, and the winter season.
Ashton-Potter (USA), Ltd., printed the Family Scenes stamps in the offset process. The Banknote Corporation of America, Inc., produced the convertible booklets of twenty Family Scenes stamps, also using the offset process. Avery Dennison printed the Skaters stamp in a self-adhesive convertible ATM booklet of eighteen using the gravure process.
Postal Bulletin (September 12, 1996).
Postal Bulletin (September 26, 1996).