This is the best time of year for my mailbox, and likely yours. Every day brings a holiday card or end-of-year letter. And there is glitter everywhere!*
Each year, I get so excited to choose my stamps for the 100 holiday cards I send out. This year, I knew nearly a year in advance which ones would be decorating my envelopes: the four images of Peter playing in the snow from one of my favorite childhood books, A Snowy Day.
These images, drawn in the early 1960s, still evoke a sense of fun and adventure through their simple design. But given the world we are in today, these stamps are more than that. They are a tiny but mighty way of affirming the beauty and innocence of children of color in a world that too often fails at this. As Andrea Davis Pinkney, recently wrote:
My hope is that the stamps bearing Peter’s image will usher forth positive perceptions, and will make even the most device-driven people glance up from their phones and newsfeeds to enjoy the beauty of a child’s adventure.
A black kid in a hoodie now stands proudly at the upper right corner of millions of envelopes. A brown-skinned boy brings comfort and joy during the holiday season. A child of color helps you and me pay our bills. He’ll bring smiles to people whose mailboxes will be filled with glad tidings. No one will see this kid as a menace, or as a scary societal hazard who portends danger.
Stamps are powerful. They shape narratives about who we see ourselves as as Americans, and show what we value–or should. So, while these stamps make great additions to Christmas cards, I hope they continue to decorate your letters in the coming year–each one sending a message of hope.
If you haven’t gotten yours just yet, you can still purchase them at your local post office or at the Postal Store online.
*Random trivia: glitter is called “flitter” by the card designers at Hallmark. I learned this from my pen pal at The Well-Appointed Desk.