Our annual Christmas stamp issue celebrates the Christmas holiday, highlighting both traditional and secular themes.

This year’s two traditional Christmas stamps present religious artworks featuring the Madonna and Child. The artworks were made from terracotta clay and glazed in a technique first introduced in Renaissance Italy by the Florentine della Robbia family of artists.

The other three stamps in this issue are secular in theme, highlighting the custom of celebrating Christmas with sugary gingerbread treats – a tradition with a very long history, with various recipes recorded in Europe for more than a millennium.

Technical specifications

Issue date
1 November 2021 *
Issue withdrawal date
31 December 2021
65c x 3, $2.40 x 2
Stamp & product design (secular)
Sonia Young, Australia Post Design Studio
Stamp & product design (religious)
Jo Muré, Australia Post Design Studio
Paper: gummed
Tullis Russell Red Phos
Paper: self-adhesive
Arconvert Securpost MC90
Paper: s/a sheetlet of 10
Raflatac Cast
Printer: secular
Printer: religious
RA Printing
Printer: s/a sheetlet of 10
Rapid Labels
Printing process
Offset lithography
Printing process: s/a sheetlet of 10
Inkjet 1200 dpi
Stamp size (mm)
26 x 37.5
Minisheet size (mm)
135 x 80
Sheetlet size (mm)
120 x 192
14.6 x 13.86
Sheet layout
Module of 50 (Cold foil – s/a sheet)
FDI Postmark
Merrylands NSW 2160
FDI withdrawal date
30 November 2021

Stamps in this issue

65c Gingerbread tree

Like several other Christmas traditions, such as the Christmas tree, the custom of making decorated gingerbread houses originated in Germany, in the early 19th century. This was possibly a result of the popular success of the Grimm fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel”, where two lost children were enticed into a house made of gingerbread and topped with sweets.

65c Gingerbread gift

Gingerbread was particularly popular in France, the Netherlands, Britain, Sweden and Germany, where in the 15th century a guild controlled its production. In the 16th century, the retinue of Queen Elizabeth I of England included a royal gingerbread maker. The Queen would hold banquets, where the easily moulded gingerbread was playfully formed into figures representing people at her court. During the Elizabethan era, gingerbread men were also sometimes presented as love tokens. This stamp features gingerbread baked in the shape of a Christmas gift.

65c Madonna and Child rectangular plaque

This stamp design shows the Madonna tenderly cradling the infant Jesus in her arms, with the Latin posuerunt me custodem (they have appointed me as guardian) inscribed below. This plaque was made in the Italian Umbrian town of Deruta in the 17th century. The plaque measures 52 x 37 centimetres and is in the Australian Catholic University Art Collection.

$2.40 Gingerbread star

The association between gingerbread and Christmas is not clear. Possibly the custom arose because of the belief that spices were warming in the cold northern winter, but probably also because a gingerbread house elaborately decorated with sweets and sugary delicacies is an indulgent extravagance permitted only once a year. This stamp design showcases a star shape, the star being a popular choice to top the Christmas tree.

$2.40 Madonna and Child tondo

The round plaque or tondo represented on this stamp was made in the late 19th century by Florence manufacturers Figli de Giuseppe Cantagalli. It shows a crowned Madonna as Queen of Heaven, clasping the standing Christ Child, with four cherubim in the background, encircled by a festoon of decorative leaves, fruit, pinecones and flowers. This relief, which is 38 centimetres in diameter, is in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.

Shop our stamp collectables

Set of stamps:

Set of Christmas 2021 Gummed Stamps

This set of stamps contains all five stamps from the Christmas 2021 stamp issue.

Stamp pack:

Christmas 2021 Stamp Pack

The Christmas 2021 stamp pack contains all five stamps and minisheet from the stamp issue presented in high quality folder.


Christmas 2021 Minisheet

The Christmas 2021 minisheet consists of the two religious stamps from the issue incorporated into a miniature stamp sheet.

Maxicard set:

Set of Christmas 2021 Maxicards

This maxicard set contains the five maxicards from the Christmas 2021 stamp issue.

Additional products:

This content was produced at the time of the stamp issue release date and will not be updated.

*The on-sale date for international-rate Christmas stamps was 1 October 2021. This is to help ensure that our customers’ international Christmas mail reaches its intended destination on time, in light of the impacts of COVID-19 on worldwide mail delivery.