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New holiday designs postponed

New holiday postage stamp designs planned for 2000 will be postponed, the U.S. Postal Service has announced.

"Rather than printing new holiday designs for 2000, we believe it is a good business decision to exhaust our current inventories of 1999 holiday stamps and supplement them with a small reprint of one design," said James Tolbert, executive director of stamp services.

The postponed designs are the Thanksgiving stamp, part of the holiday celebrations series; the holiday traditional (Christmas) stamp, depicting Jan Gossaert's painting Madonna and Child, and the holiday contemporary stamps, featuring four images of Santa. These designs are expected to be issued in the future.

"With the possibility of a rate change in 2001, waiting a bit longer to issue the Thanksgiving stamp should give our customers the convenience of using the design for multiple holiday seasons," Tolbert said.

The holiday stamps available this year will be the holiday traditional stamp, which celebrates Christmas and features Bartolomeo Vivarini's Madonna and Child; the holiday contemporary design, depicting a stylized antique-gold deer set against one of four different deeply colored backgrounds; and the two holiday celebrations designs, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.