The United States Post Office Department issued its first Christmas postage stamp in 1962. Expecting the stamp to be popular, 350 million were printed. They sold out pretty quickly, prompting the need for a reprint. Allegedly, the department ran out of the paper used to print sheets of 100, so the second run was in sheets of 90. Of course, I read that last night and now I can’t find the source, so it might just be fake news. I found it!
What probably isn’t fake news is the…you guessed it…controversy surrounding the stamp. Again we find ourselves thinking that the so-called “War on Christmas” is a somewhat recent development. Firs of all, there is no war on Christmas; and second, controversy surrounding religion in relation to the US government has existed for as long as there has been a US government. While the founders clearly stipulated that the need for separation of church and state was paramount (mainly so that no one could be persecuted for practicing the religion of their choice or none at all), we let our religious views seep in regularly.
In the case of the postage stamp, some people felt it was wrong for a government department to single out a holiday celebrated by one particular religion (picking favorites, in other words). It is now 2020 and there are stamps for Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Diwali, along with stamps for other holidays. Now that the USPS no longer “favors” Christmas, some say there is a “war” upon it. Perhaps, someday, we can learn to be a little less selfish and realize that there is happiness in “enough” we don’t need “all.”