Scott Specialized Updating Christmas Seal Section

1979 Canadian Lookalike Christmas Seal Design Experiment 1979 Snowflake Christmas Seal Design Experiment 1979 from '42 Dale Nichols Christmas Seal Design Experiment 1979 National "Kid Art" Christmas Seal Sheet 2018 US Christmas Seal issued by the American Lung Association

Forty years ago, in 1979 Scott's Specialized Catalogue of US Postage Stamps decided to quit listing Christmas Seals. Their reason was stated in a paragraph at the end of the section; essentially, that there was no longer a single national issue. In 1979 a class of test seals began, known as design experiments, which have continued ever since. In 1980 a '79 design experiment was planned to be used, but due to a prior commitment, the Children's art images were instead used. Since 1981 the national US Christmas Seal was selected from a previous year design experiment, so from the beginning collectors could tell the difference from these tests and the national issue.

In 2013 James Kloetzel, the editor of Scott's Specialized Catalogue approached CS&CSS members John Denune Jr & Sr at the APS show in Milwaukee. From time to time, it pays to remind the philatelic community that the Christmas Seal hobby is alive and well. The CS&CSS had a society booth there, and were overjoyed when asked to help. The first thing we changed was the wording of that paragraph, stating that collectors familiar with these seals could easily recognize the national issues from the design experiments.

Jim suggested we add some tied ons, earliest known useages, and errors. With the help of George Painter, dad and I sent them a "Christmas list" of changes every year. At the top of everyone's list was bringing their Christmas Seal section up to date. In early 2019, George sent Scott's a letter making strong points for all the unused suggestions over the last 5 years, which included adding 1911 type 4, 1911 type 5, 1913 type 4 and of course, bringing their section up to date.

I'm overjoyed to report that Scott's Catalogue adopted each and every one of the suggestions, so even though Green's Catalog of US Christmas Seals remains the Bible of Christmas Seal collecting, this is the year to buy a copy of Scott's Specialized Catalogue of US Postage Stamps. Their 2020 edition increases the Christmas Seal section more than any past edition, including when Christmas Seals were first added in 1935.