Crown Princess Mary unveiled this year’s Christmas stamp at a ceremony on Monday, launching the annual holiday appeal for children in need, and celebrating the theme of ‘reunification.’
This year’s stamp was designed by Tomas Björnsson to celebrate the centenary of Southern Jutland re-joining Denmark, and is “a map of Denmark…everywhere you can see little elves and figurines reuniting and celebrating the community,” according to the Christmas Stamp’s official website.
“Community is also one of the keywords for the work of the Christmas brand homes. Many of the children who stay at a Christmas brand home struggle with loneliness. When they come to [a home], they become part of a caring community with room for everyone.”
Björnsson said of the stamp, “I love these kinds of tasks that require lots of details to both create a good atmosphere and at the same time tell an exciting story. It is a challenge, but also a game to make everything work together, where the overall story must also be able to be split into a lot of small independent stories. But first and foremost, it is a great honour to be allowed to work with such a good cause as the Christmas brand is.”
Crown Princess Mary attended the stamp’s unveiling at the Christmas Stamp Home in Roskilde, where she met with young people who have been formerly received support from the home. They all wrote letters to their younger selves, which they shared with Mary.
“The friendships are amazing at a Christmas brand home,” a young girl named Benedicte wrote to herself. “Here I have experienced something I had never tried before: That my friends ask about me and took an interest in me. It’s a feeling I still get today when I write with them. For me, the friendships have lasted longer than the 10 weeks a stay lasts. In September, I held my confirmation, and I brought friends from the Christmas brand home. It was the best day.”
The Danish Christmas stamp is a tradition that began in 1904 to support children’s causes, including the building of a sanitorium to help those suffering from tuberculosis; and the construction of further Christmas Stamp Homes that now number five around Denmark to support at least 1,000 children every year with issues related to bullying, loneliness, obesity and social isolation.
The first Christmas stamp, from 1904, featured then-Queen Louise of Denmark “surrounded by an ornamental frame consisting of crowns, coats of arms, and Christmas roses held in violet,” according to the Royal House.