Why I keep Christmas envelopes

Christmas cards mailed to me in 2018

I love keeping the envelopes from mailed Christmas cards.


What did so-and-so’s handwriting look like? Nowadays the only time we see someone’s handwriting is on the envelope of a Christmas card. Is it messy? Neat?

While spring cleaning in May, I came across a box of envelopes that I kept from the 2018 Christmas cards mailed to my family. I’m a quirk. I love these envelopes—in some cases more the actual cards! I scanned in all the envelopes and made collage of how everyone addressed the envelope.

(not all the cards mailed to my family are in this collage. Some of the envelopes didn’t make it into this box. So please excuse me if you don’t see yours here)

It’s fun looking back at the envelopes. Recognizing the handwriting of people you know from your past.

Or did the sender use a typeset sticker? If so, what font was selected? Clean sans serif? Or perhaps a classy serif?

Postal stamps

In addition to handwriting, another great feature of Christmas envelopes are the stamps. What selection of stamp did the sender use? Festive? Standard? Weird?

Christmas stamps sent to me 2018

Cancellations on stamps

Every time an envelope gets mailed, the Post Office cancels the stamp by over-printing ink on the stamp. In the past they used an actual ink stamp. Now it’s some sort of inkjet printing over the stamp. While one could lament the old days of the ink cancellation stamp, the variation of this ink pattern is fascinating.

Here’s the Christmas cancellation variations:

My favorite has to be the cancellation on the blue jay stamp. It’s like the blue jay is actually sitting in the field inkjet Christmas trees. On first glance, the blue jay seems like an odd choice for a Christmas stamp. But the blue jay is blue—the color of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

And the standard curves are ok too—especially when put together into a collage.

If there’s anything you love about Christmas envelopes, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear!

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