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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network stations December 21-22, 2002:

Christmas around the world.

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries.

The United States issued its first Christmas stamp in 1962, but the WORLD'S
first Christmas stamp was issued by CANADA, more than 60 years earlier. It
was a map of the world.

This year's three Canadian stamps feature designs by aboriginal, or indian,

Britain's five feature holiday plants, while New Zealand this year chose six
magnificent churches.

In Iceland, where tradition says trees aren't decorated until the day before
Christmas, the stamps feature gifts and ornaments. Poland's two stamps also
feature ornaments, and Switzerland's stamp shows a cardboard church tree
ornament from Bohemia about a century ago.

Lithuania and Latvia also chose mostly-secular designs for their Christmas
stamps, but Austria's is seriously religious, with the Baby Jesus and the
words "Gloria In Excelsis Deo" -- Glory to God in the Highest.

There's a gallery of many of this year's Christmas stamps at

And that's stamp collecting this week. 

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News. 

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