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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.