These are Royal mail’s Christmas stamps this year:
1st Class â€“ The Angel of Goodwill
Definitive sized designs, available in large letter format, these stamps depict a seated Angel of Goodwill playing a lute, set against a snowy backdrop with winter foliage.
2nd Class - The Angel of Peace
Definitive sized designs, available in large letter format, these stamps feature the Angel of Peace playing a trumpet, set against a wintry, festive landscape.
78p â€“ The Angel of Joy
In standard definitive size, the Angel of Joy stamp features a winged heavenly messenger playing the flute in a traditional Christmas setting.
Â£1.24 â€“ The Angel of Glory
In standard definitive size, this stamp features Marco Venturaâ€™s illustration of the Angel of Glory with wings outstretched. The angel is shown playing a tambourine amidst falling snow.
I’m not familiar with the Angels of Glory, Joy, Peace and Goodwill, so I’m not sure if this a reference to a tradition or something that the artist has made up. But the reason for having angels on the stamps comes about because they commemorate the tercentenary of the birth of Charles Wesley who wrote the popular Christmas carol, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. That doesn’t strike me as an attempt to subvert the Christmas message. If you want to see these stamps in greater detail — I think they’re rather beautiful — there is a magnifier on the Royal Mail site.
Two further stamps picture the Madonna and Child.
A fine set this year, I reckon. No doubt I’ll be sending some as Christmas presents.