Christmas Found on ATM Stamps From Holy Land

Israel officially is a Jewish state, so it is no real surprise that the nation has never issued a Christmas stamp.

However, Israel recognizes that it is the cradle of Christianity, attracts many Christian visitors and is home to Christian holy sites.

In response, Israel has since 1992 issued Christmas postage vending machine labels that have included images both religious — Mary and the Baby Jesus and angels — and secular, with the likes of decorated Christmas trees, wrapped gifts, and even Santa Claus.

Until 2004, the ATM labels were printed on a German Klussendorf vending machine and some earlier issues and varieties are scarce. An Israel Doarmat machine has been used since. Some of the earliest varieties are scarce. An Israel Doarmat machine has been used since.

Shown philatelic items from Israel are a blank (nondenominated) 2011 label; a 2015 cover canceled on Christmas Eve, and a 2016 ATM stamp.