The annual Christmas Island Christmas stamp issue once again places the Christmas theme squarely in a tropical island setting.

The two stamps in the Christmas Island Christmas 2016 issue, which will be released on 31 October 2016, were illustrated by Shane McGowan. They show Santa, assisted by Rudolph and some local seabird ‘elves’, delivering Christmas cheer to the island’s animal inhabitants. On the minisheet, you can see local turtles and crabs joining in the festive fun.

Special products with this issue include an embellished sheetlet pack (featuring the Santa and sleigh stamp) as well as self-adhesive embellished sheetlets that will enhance this year’s Christmas card greetings.

Take a look back at Christmas Island Christmas

1969 5 cent Christmas Island stamp

In 1958, the administration of Christmas Island was transferred to Australia. Prior to this, Christmas Island used Singaporean stamps for their postage requirements. After 1958, Christmas Island produced its own stamps, and its first Christmas stamp, a “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” design, was issued in 1969. From then, both religious-themed and secular designs appeared.

The 1972 Peace and Joy stamps were particularly striking, as were the graphic illustrations of the Twelve Days of Christmas, which appeared in the 1977 Christmas issue sheetlet of 12.

1972 Christmas Island stamp issue
In the 1980s, the graphic illustrations continued, including an issue of Christmas stamps produced for the 1984 AUSIPEX stamp show (Australia’s first world stamp show) depicting Santa delivering gifts to local children.
Christmas Island Christmas 1984 stamp sheetlet
Australia Post’s Christmas Island Christmas stamps began in 1993, the same year that Australia Post began issuing stamps on behalf of Christmas Island. The first Christmas issue combined an atmospheric star-filled night sky with tropical island scenery.
1993 Christmas Island Christmas stamp issue
In 1995, humour and playfulness were on show, both of which are now regular features in this stamp series. In the stamps, Santa is delivering toys from the sky while perched on top of a seabird.
1995 Christmas Island Christmas stamp issue
In 1999, the unsuitability of Santa’s outfit for the tropical island climate is made apparent, as Santa sits down to Christmas lunch on the beach.
1999 Christmas Island Christmas stamp issue
In 2008, the animal most synonymous with the island – the crab – made a festive appearance. The red crab is cleverly pictured as part of a Christmas tree, and the robber crab looks much like a reindeer. This theme was echoed in the 2015 issue, with clever illustrations by Stuart McLachlan – a Red Crab Christmas tree and ‘tropical’ snow man featuring another island inhabitant, the Green Turtle.
2008 and 2015 Christmas Island Christmas stamp issue

The Christmas Island Christmas 2016 stamp issue is available online from 31 October 2016, at participating Post Offices and via mail order on 1800 331 794, while stocks last.

See also our Christmas 2016 stamp issue featuring the intricate art of paper-cut.

This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release dates mentioned within this article and will not be updated.

Philatelic Team