Thousands of holiday cards pass through Christmas Island post office
Published Wednesday, December 5, 2012 6:57PM AST
Even with no snow on the ground, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the Cape Breton village of Christmas Island.
Thousands of holiday greeting cards en route to far-flung corners of the world are receiving special attention at the small Maritime post office with a unique postmark.
“We’ve got hundreds of letters we have to postmark,” says postmistress Hughena MacKinnon.
Countless bundles of pre-stamped greeting cards are arriving at the post office each day.
“This is a pack of cards from a student in Vancouver, being sent to their family in China,” says MacKinnon.
The goal is to ensure the card’s recipient knows it not just another festive message, but a special greeting from Christmas Island.
“It’s just that little extra touch,” says MacKinnon. “Usually it is about the only time of year that you contact them. They just want to make it that little extra special. We hit peak times when there are over 1,000 cards a day. Usually, I have to get help in to help us keep the mail moving.”
It is the 18th year the small village post office has taken on the big task of processing specially-marked greeting cards.
It never ceases to amaze the postmistress how far the mail travels.
“We’ve had cards from all over Europe,” says MacKinnon. “We’ve had cards from Asia, Korea, Australia, Tahiti even.”
Norma MacLean has taken a detour on a trip from Halifax to Sydney to have dozens of greeting cards postmarked.
“Every year I send my cards through here to my granddaughter,” says MacLean. “Friends in the states and we have a few stamp-collector friends, they like to see the postmark.”
The specially postmarked cards are sent to a regular processing plant for sorting and delivery, but they are handled separately. That ensures regular cancellation stamps are not applied to mail that symbolizes the festive season, even before it is opened.
Those interested in having cards postmarked at Christmas Island should address the envelopes and add the correct postage, then insert the cards into a larger envelope and send it to:
Christmas Island Post Office
8499 Grand Narrows Hwy
Christmas Island NS B1T 1A0
With files from CTV Atlantic's Randy MacDonald