P.O. Box 744
all year long...
Christmas Philatelic Club
1995 Ken Mackenzie Writer's Award Winner
The Little Green Christmas Tree Cachets
from Christmas, Florida
by Ed Kalasa, CPC #644
After reading the very interesting article "A Visit to Christmas Florida"
by Lillian Hetrick in the January/February 1994 Yule Log, I examined my collection of the
Christmas, Florida little green Christmas tree cachets. I found that I have about 20
varieties of the cachet and an earlier year of use than was stated in that article (1935).
I believe that the use of a cachet on mail from this post office was started by Juanita
Tucker, who became the postmaster in 1932. Before the green tree appeared, a cachet
showing a line of green holly leaves with two bells was used. (Fig.1). I have seen several
similar ones with the December 25 dates. The `little green Christmas tree' rubber stamp
cachet made its debut in 1934 (Fig. 2). I have two covers with this cachet in my
collection and have seen others. In 1935, a greeting was added to the cachet to
commemorate the town's centennial (Fig. 3). This started a 60 year tradition with very
little change to the little green Christmas tree cachet, except for variations in the text
above and below the tree. In 1936 "Christmas Greetings" and the year were added
below the tree (Fig. 4). The wording in the following years reflected the spirit of the
season "Merry Christmas/1937" (Fig. 5), "Yuletide Greetings/1938"
(Fig. 6), "A Joyous Christmas/1939" (Fig. 7), "Christmas Cheer/1940"
(Fig. 8) and "Greetings from Christmas/1941" (Fig. 9).
During the latter years of WWII, there were several
variations of the special greeting. "Best Wishes for Christmas/1942" (Fig. 10)
was the new greeting but I have in my collection and have seen the `little green Christmas
tree' without a greeting or date, the same as Figure 2. For 1942 I have also seen the use
of a recycled one from 1939, as in Figure 7, "A Joyous Christmas" without a year
date (Fig. 11). This may have been due to a shortage of critical war materials or postal
funds. In 1943, all I can find is the type in Figure 11 and in 1944 all that I have ever
observed is the type in Figure 2, the `little green Christmas tree' without a greeting or
WWII ended in 1945 and the Christmas Florida Post Office
continued their traditional cachet with a very appropriate greeting "Peace on
Earth/1945" (Fig. 12), followed by "Good Will toward Men/1946" (Fig. 13)
and "For the Healing/of the Nations,/One World Indivisible./ 1947" (Fig. 14).
Notice also that from 1946 on, the script style of the text changed. The year date,
however, reverted to the fancy script at times.
In 1948 and 1949 a line from the first Christmas carol
was used (Fig. 15). The words "Glory to God/In the Highest" were used for many
years. In 1950, "Glory to God/In the Highest" moved to above the tree and
"CHRISTMAS /Orange Co., Fla./1950" appeared below the tree (Fig. 16). A 1952
cover shows the same type but without the year date. Another small change took place
sometime after 1952 with "Orange Co." being spelled out in full "Orange
County" (Fig. 17). The earliest known date (EKD) for this style is 1958. However,
because of a shortage of data that I have from this period, it may have been earlier than
1958. Through the ensuing years, covers may be found without the year date. In some cases,
this may be due to under inking. A cover from 1967 shows a cachet similar to Fig. 17, but
without the year date. Most likely, under inking caused this peculiarity (Fig. 18).
In 1981 (Fig. 19), the little green tree cachet stayed
the same, but the year date was dropped and has never appeared again with this cachet. In
1990, the last change (recorded to date) was made. A larger Christmas tree without a
greeting appeared with only the words "Christmas,/Florida" below the tree (Fig.
20). From 1990 to 1993, I have found the use of both types as in Figures 19 and 20.
On June 27, 1992 the Christmas Florida Post Office
celebrated its 100th anniversary with a special pictorial cancel (Fig. 21) no pot, no
candles, but the tree was still green. A star shines brightly from atop the tree,
proclaiming 1992 as the 100th year of the Christmas Florida Post Office. EK
Author's Note: There may be other
types of this famous cachet that I am not aware of and if anyone has more information or
can add to this list, I would like to hear from them.
Continue to read about the Ken Mackenzie Writer's Award.
Find out how to join the
Christmas Philatelic Club.
The Yule Log is edited by Jon Mills of Ottawa, Ontario. Christine Sanders of Englewood, Florida is the club's
The invitation to
membership in the Christmas Philatelic Club is open to any Christmas topical philatelist
who is seriously interested in associating with those who collect likewise.
Current dues are $20 per
year for persons living in North America. Other Countries: $30.00 (US funds). Send an
international money order in US dollars.
Applications for membership
are available from Secretary/Treasurer Jim Balog, PO Box 744, Geneva, Ohio 44042-0744 USA or complete this Application Form and send it to the secretary's address..
For a sample issue of the Yule Log, send
P.O. Box 744