In celebration of the holiday season the Postal Service issued both a traditional and contemporary Christmas stamp on October 23, 2003 in New York, New York.
The traditional stamp, a 37-cent Madonna and Child stamp, was issued in a pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) pane of twenty and designed by Richard Sheaff, Scottsdale, Arizona. The stamp is a detail of Jan Gossaert's oil-on-panel painting of the Madonna and Child, ca. 1520, from the Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection at The Art Institute of Chicago. The stamp was previously issued on October 10, 2002. Ashton-Potter (USA), Ltd., printed the stamp in the offset process. 700 million stamps were printed.
The 37-cent Holiday Music Makers stamps were issued in four designs and designed by Ethel Kessler, Bethesda, Maryland. Featuring whimsical Santas and fanciful reindeer playing horns, panpipes, and a drum, these lighthearted, colorful stamps are reminders of the joys of the season. Illustrator Diane Teske Harris of Billings, Montana, created the airbrush artwork for these colorful stamps.
The stamps were issued in a PSA pane of twenty, a double-sided convertible booklet of twenty, a folded vending booklet of twenty, and a set of twenty stamped cards. The stamps were printed in gravure process. Sennett Security Products, located at the American Packaging Corporation in Columbus, Wisconsin, printed 125 million stamps.
Postal Bulletin (September 18, 2003).