The 2014 Åland Christmas stamp is almost a fairy tale image of Little Christmas. The Christmas atmosphere comes to life with white snow, welcoming and warming lights and rosy cheeks. A parent holding a child’s hand visits the Jan Karlsgården Christmas fair. Emelie Hage’s image of Little Christmas has the shimmer of nostalgia.
“I imagined a parent introducing a child to the Christmas spirit. Quite often, the Little Christmas fair is a rather slushy affair with everyone skidding around in the mud and it is always damp. I remember how my parents stopped to talk to every single person they met and it took forever to get to the toffee …But this is how it looks in my dream,” says Emelie, the artist behind the Christmas stamp as well as the Christmas seals and Christmas decorations in gold plated brass.
Emelie first drew the image and then applied watercolours. On the Christmas seals, the marketers are the central figures, whereas the decorations focus on the merchandise – a toffee, a tin of herrings, a bauble. “I sketched all the motifs at the same time to obtain a certain amount of coherence. Even if I have previously designed stamps for Åland Post, the small format does demand a special approach; for everything to work well you must consider the smallness, a stamp motif is so tiny.”
Finding inspiration was not so easy seeing that Emelie made her research at Jan Karlsgården during high summer. ”I shot photos and gathered details, colours and patterns that might prove good to have”.
On her home turf in Stockholm, her friends know little about the Little Christmas phenomenon in Åland and Emelie acts as eager ambassador. That is what happens for someone celebrating Little Christmas abroad.
“Traditions like these become somewhat special and I like to tell my friends about our Åland Little Christmas celebrations. I particularly like the ‘little’ part. A small gift, a small tree and a little food. Unpretentious and enjoyable,” she says.
Date of issue 9 October 2014
Artist Emelie Hage
Edition 300 000
Denomination Julpost €0.70
Price FDC €1.35
Stamp size 40 x 30 mm
Sheet size 2 x 12 stamps
Paper 103 g/m2
Perforation 13 per 2 cm
Printing method 4-colour offset + hologram
Printing house Cartor Security Printing
The stamp is available for purchase in Åland Post Stamps webshop at www.posten.ax/webshop/en.