The Postal Service issued two stamps as part of the 1997 Christmas Issue. The traditional stamp, a 32-cent Sano di Pietro Madonna and Child, was issued on October 27, 1997, in Washington, DC. The contemporary stamp, a 32-cent American Holly, was issued on October 30, 1997, in New York, New York.
The traditional stamp features a detail of Italian artist Sano di Pietro's painting Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels. Designed by Richard Sheaff of Norwood, Massachusetts, the stamps were printed in self-adhesive convertible booklets of twenty by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing manufactured in the offset process.
The contemporary stamp features a sprig of holly, pruned to make the berries stand out to enrich the berry color. Designed by Howard Paine of Delaplane, Virginia, and illustrated by Ned Seidler of Hampton Bay, New York, the stamp was printed by the Banknote Corporation of America, Inc., in the offset process.
Postal Bulletin (September 25, 1997).