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Decorate with festive Holiday Ornaments U.S. postage stamps

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Happy memories of lights, tinsel and other favorite Christmas-tree decorations are warmly evoked in the upcoming Holiday Ornaments commemorative postage stamps. Each of the four stamps features a richly colored painted glass Santa ornament. The stamps will be issued on Nov. 16.

The ornaments pictured on the stamps were made in Lauscha, Germany, in 1999.

Christmas trees and decorations began as a German tradition and, originally, the decorations were edible treats such as fruits, nuts and cookies. In the mid-19th century, glassblowers in Lauscha began creating colorful molded glass ornaments. Their designs included bells, trumpets, stars, angels and Santas, as well as glass versions of the familiar food decorations. During Queen Victoria's reign, trees with glass ornaments became popular in England, and by the 1890s the glass ornament tradition had spread to the United States.

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