Christmas Holly

November 01, 2011

The Christmas holly tree has a long history associated with Yuletide and the coming of the winter holiday season. Since pre-Christian times, people have brought holly and branches of other evergreen plants indoors in the winter. Thought to afford magical protection against evil spirits, Druids wore sprigs of holly in their hair during mistletoe rituals at summer and winter solstice observances.

Over the years, the practice of displaying special decorations and greenery at Christmastime has become customary. The bright red berries and green leaves of the holly, which often appears in wreaths on doors at this time of year, mirror the traditional, vivid colours of Christmas—a welcome sight in the cold, white winter of northern climes like Canada.

The fourth secular stamp in Canada Post's continuing holiday series, to be issued on November 1, showcases a festive sprig of holly. Designer Hélène L’Heureux scattered snowflakes in clear holographic foil throughout the design of this stamp, as she did in the Snowman (2005), the Reindeer (2007) and the Christmas Tree (2009) stamps. It has a contemporary feel, and shares many of the other bold design elements common to the series, including strong graphic shapes and the snowy background landscape of rolling hills.

A complementary note card set will also be available for purchase this year, offering customers a perfect opportunity to extend the season’s greetings using the image of the modern, festive Holly stamp, as well as those from the three previous popular Christmas stamps.

Booklet of 12 stamps

Booklet of 12 stamps


  • Product #: 413802131
  • Design: Hélène L’Heureux
  • Dimensions: 24 mm x 24 mm (square)
  • Printer: Lowe-Martin
  • Printing Process: Lithography in 5 colours plus
  • Quantity: 27,000,000
  • Gum Type: Pressure sensitive
  • Illustration: Hélène L’Heureux
  • Perforations: Simulated perforation
  • Tagging: General, 4 sides
  • Photography: Hélène L’Heureux
  • Paper Type: Tullis Russell
  • OFDC Cancellation Location: Greenwood, British Columbia