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Royal Mail
UK News

Christmas stamps unveiled with theme of nativity story

by Antony Bushfield

The stamps feature scenes from the Biblical story of the nativity from the Annunciation and the birth of Christ.

London-born artist David Holmes illustrated the stamps which will be on sale soon.

Royal Mail

Andrew Hammond, of the Royal Mail, said: "Christmas is a stamp issue we particularly look forward to. The charming style of these designs sets the perfect tone for the festive season."

Recommended posting dates this year are December 19 for second-class mail, December 21 for first-class and December 23 for special delivery.

There will be no deliveries from Christmas Day until December 29, as Monday December 28 is a bank holiday.

Royal Mail

Meanwhile MPs have called for a special Christmas stamp costing 25p to be introduced to encourage people to send cards.

One of the "great traditions of the festive season" is under threat as rising postage prices cause people to consider using e-cards and social media, the cross-party group of MPs say.

They want the cheaper rate to be offered from December 1st and to guarantee delivery before Christmas Day.

Christmas card sales hit 900 million in the UK each year although they have dropped from 1.02 billion in 2005, the MPs warn.

Royal Mail

A first class stamp is priced at 63p and a second stamp at 54p.

The Christmas stamp proposal has been raised in a parliamentary motion tabled by Conservative former deputy speaker Nigel Evans.

Mr Evans' early day motion states: "That this House recognises that with 900 million festive cards sold in the UK each year, the sending and receiving of Christmas cards is one of the great traditions of the festive season."

The motion adds: "(It) ... therefore believes that this tradition should be recognised by the Royal Mail by introducing a 25p Christmas stamp, that if sent between December 1 and December 14 2015, is guaranteed to arrive before Christmas Day, thus helping to reverse the downward trend in the numbers of cards sent each year."

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