Sunday, 15 December 2013

Robins at Christmas

Robins frequently feature on Christmas cards and often on Christmas stamps.  In 2001 the Royal Mail issued this set, here as the PHQ stamp cards.

Robins have been associated with Christmas in the UK ever since the mid 1800s.  Postmen used to have a red uniform (in fact they still do to some extent) and became known as robins.  The robins on Christmas cards symbolised the postmen delivering the mail until they became associated with Christmas in their own right.  I'd be interested to know if other countries also associate robins with Christmas.  I know you have different birds called robins in north America.

This is a post for Sunday Stamps, now hosted by Violet Sky at "See it on a Postcard!"


  1. I only remember the snowman from that set so what a treat to see them all. Love that Christmas pudding.

  2. Those robins are cute. Ours fly away for the winter, but you do often see them on Christmas cards anyway.

  3. Another set I totally missed, they are fun! The E stamps didn't survive very long.

  4. Very cute stamps, I love all of them!

    Robins here (in the Netherlands) are associated with winter.
    I always thought that the same robins stayed in our country the whole year round, and that they come closer to our houses because of the winter cold and lack of food. But recently I read an article about robins, And I learned that these robins, seen in winter, are coming to our country in autumn from Scandinavian countries. While the robins we see here in summer, are leaving NL for winter by flying to more southern countries.
    Because the Scandinavian robins have more room in the north, they are less familiar with humans, and therefore less shy. And thus seen in winter!

  5. I didn't know why robins are associated with post, thank you. I like these stamps; I think I've received one of them some years ago.

  6. I only have part of this set; they are brilliant. But you need to enlighten me about the E stamp - what was it for?

    1. E stamps were/are NVI "no value indicated" for European destinations. I don't think they do them any more, sadly.

  7. Robins are seen on early 20th century Christmas and New Year postcards here. I think more for New Year. Most of these cards were German made. Cardinals and chickadees are the birds usually seen on newer greeting cards. I don't think robins were ever associated with post here.

  8. The American Robins fly south for the winter as they eat insects mostly. though I have seen some hardy ones a few weeks ago. They are not associated with Christmas. A red bird that is on Christmas cards is the cardinal.
    Thank you for showing these great stamps today.

  9. Didn't know about robins and postmen. I like it. There is a book by Southern author Fannie Flagg titled A Redbird Christmas. "An enchanting Christmas story of faith and hope for all ages that is sure to become a classic". Quote from book jacket. Good Southern Drama. I liked it. I knew Fannie when I was young from her work with a theatre In Birmingham, Alabama. She directed a play I was in back then.

  10. What delightful Christmas stamps...I didn't know robins had a connection to Christmas.

  11. Robins are my favourite subject for Christmas cards and these stamps are delightful. Why can’t I remember them.


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