Santa and his elves have arrived in Bethlehem (that’s the one in West Wales) bringing festive greetings to the village which hosts a special Bethlehem handstamp for festive mail every year.
Our Angel handstamp, with a ‘Bethlehem’ cancellation mark, brings customers from far and wide every Christmas to the famous village Post Office, where customers love stamping their festive cards a unique way.
This year’s festive stamps were designed by Axel Scheffler, the best-selling children’s illustrator, co-creator of the children’s favourite, The Gruffalo. They feature traditional Christmas scenes including Father Christmas, festive robins, Christmas Trees and a reindeer.
The Bethlehem handstamp will be available daily for festive mail from Monday 3rd December 3rd to December 18th.
Tony Fox, director at Royal Mail, said: ‘Christmas is a busy time of year for all our postmen and women and we are delighted to offer this special service again at this time of year. Thousands of our customers take advantage of this unique handstamp.’
Bethlehem Post Office subpostmaster, Mike Williams, said: ‘This is a very busy time for our Bethlehem branch. Over the years we have had visitors from as far as America and Australia and more locally from visitors all over Wales.’
Bethlehem Post Office, usually open one afternoon a week, will be opening its doors full-time from December 3 to December 18. Opening times at the branch will be extended Monday-Friday 10.00 – 16.00; Saturday 10.00 – 12 noon.
A bumper postbag
In Wales, millions of items are expected to pass through mail centres and delivery offices serving Wales - from Fishguard to Bangor, Wrexham to Newport - in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day.
Tony said: ‘Our people do a fantastic job at this time of year to ensure that friends and families stay in touch through their Christmas greetings and gifts. And as usual, we would like to remind our customers to post early so that friends and family have longer to enjoy their Christmas greetings.’
We're reminding customers that the recommended last posting dates for mail are:
- Thursday 20 December for 1st Class items
- Tuesday 18 December for 2nd Class items
- Saturday 22 December for Special Delivery items
The last recommended posting dates for international mail are:
- Wednesday 5 December for airmail to Asia, Far East, Australia and New Zealand
- Friday 7 December for airmail to South & Central America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East
- Monday 10 December for airmail to Eastern Europe, the USA, Canada and Japan
- Wednesday 12 December for airmail items to Western Europe