I got to the post office early to buy stamps. I knew the windows would be closed but was planning to buy stamps from the machine. A week after Christmas, here were my options:

stamp options

How many Christmas stamps would you like? Zero is how many I would like. No other options, just Rudolph. On the one hand, I’m not surprised that a government agency didn’t change out the stamp design after the holiday ended, but on the other hand, I’m more than a little irritated that a federal government agency is cramming Christmas down my throat.

It’s better than a few years ago when I didn’t even know I was getting Christmas stamps until they came out of the machine and the people at the window refused to exchange them for another design. But it’s also worse because I now know that the machine prints these stamps on the spot. This is not a matter of failing to change out the stock or wanting to run out the inventory, this is something that could have been fixed in the software.

Lest you think I’m having a frothy first amendment freakout for frivolous reasons, Christmas stamps first hit the USPS in 1962 and lawsuits were forthcoming in 1968.

If you say that Rudolph is pretty free of religious dogma, I’d have to agree, but did you know that much like the red-suited santa created by Coca Cola, Rudolph was born of a corporate parent, the Montgomery Ward department store, in 1939?

I’m all for a thousand stamp designs blooming, but when there’s just one choice in the vending machine, it’s offensive to assume that “Christmas for everybody.”