Tuesday 24 October 2023

Christmas 2023 - Set of 5 and MS - 2 November 2023

Royal Mail's Christmas issue this year is reduced to only five stamps and retail booklets, plus the unnecessary miniature and generic sheets.

The set of five special stamps features brand new illustrations by artist Tom Duxbury, who specialises in the techniques of block printing to depict both vintage and modern scenes. The vibrant designs capture the themes of some of the most popular Christmas carols, including ‘Silent Night’ and ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’.

Great Britain Christmas 2023 2nd and 2nd Large stamps

ValueInfo provided by Royal Mail
Actual title
2nd Class O Holy Night
2nd Class LargeSilent NightO Little Town of Bethlehem
1st ClassAway in a MangerSilent Night
1st Class LargeO Little Town of Bethlehem        
Away in a Manger
£2.20We Three Kings 

I have checked the actual stamps and they are as illustrated above: Royal Mail's information to us was wrong, yet again.

Great Britain 2023 Christmas Miniature Sheet

2023 Christmas 'Collectors sheet'

Technical details

The range was designed by Steers McGillan Eves using illustrations by Tom Duxbury exclusively for Royal Mail ©

The 39 x 30 mm stamps are printed in sheets of 50 by Cartor Security Printers in gravure (ie by Walsall). The Miniature sheet is 179 x 74 mm also printed in gravure.

The Christmas 2023 Collectors Sheet includes a set of 20 stamps (8 x 2nd Class, 8 x 1st, 4 x £2.20) set against a backdrop of a starry ngiht. The Sheet will be printed in Self Adhesive, and is printed in litho.

Retail booklets of 8 will be available for the 1st and 2nd class stamps. The covers are green (2nd) and purple (1st) the same as the definitive stamps. 

Last year, for production reasons, the Booklets did not carry any cylinder numbers.  We think that this may be the same in 2023.

Product range

Set, miniature sheet, retail booklets, collector sheet, first day covers (2), stamp cards (6), presentation pack.


  1. Now if only they would produce books of £2.20 stamps for those of us who send Christmas cards abroad.

    1. Hear, Hear! Rather than the mix of £1.85 and £2.55 I needed in previous years, 6x £2.20 Christmas would be ideal.

  2. The Collectors' Sheet offends against my OCD.

    Top and bottom rows both feature four 1st class stamps - fair enough - but, for some unfathomable reason, despite every other stamp having a unique lyric next to the stamp, both top and bottom rows begin with a "Silent night, holy night".


    1. I looked on websites to find the lyrics to work out just what went with what. The point about Silent Night is that the words start more than one verse; but then not all the lines are included anyway!

      The first row of stamps is lines 1, 2 (on the stamp), 3, 4, 5 on the labels.
      The final row of stamps is lines 1, [2 of verse 1 on the stamp], 2, 3, 4 on the labels - no line 5.

      The others are even more complex!

    2. I made the mistake of ignoring what was printed on the stamp itself, and just looked at the labels. So the text appeared more haphazard than is actually the case, and my indignation is certainly not as righteous as I had thought.

      Well done on the detective work.

      Thank you.

    3. Easily done, it ought to be more intuitive. If the label text is incorporated on one stamp it should be on all. Would that mean 4 different label texts for each value?
      Of course the best thing is not to buy them at all!

  3. Does anyone know if it is possible to buy the 1st and 2nd class Large Letter Christmas stamps from the RM website in quantities less than a sheet?

    1. Well Bob, they are offering half-sheets, that is, one side of the gutter but not necessarily the side that they picture on those shop entries.
      But I'm guessing you mean smaller quantities than that? This is the one set of stamps which will be available in all branches, so unless you are not in the UK or are unable to access a post office that would seem to be the best way to get them.

    2. Yes I am after five of each. Unfortunately I am housebound at the moment so ruling out a visit to the Post Office. However, following a call to Edinburgh, I was able to pre-order them over the phone along with the other items I wanted from the website. The only downside is you don't get free postage if the order is over £50 as you do on line. However I guess they need to help cover the cost of the phone operators.

  4. In my humble opinion Oh Holy Night is the most beautiful of all Carols, notably sung in Home Alone by the neighbours granddaughter's church choir, there are many fine examples of this carol online well worth a listen !

  5. As a data point, none of the Xmas booklets I received today had cylinder numbers, so it appears that Ian's prediction is likely to be correct (not that I ever doubted it!).

  6. Heath Park Shopper2 November 2023 at 21:07

    The main Post Office in Cardiff today was unable to sell any Christmas Stamp items. Due to staff unavailability apparently the bundle had not been registered/sorted. Never happened before as far as I can recall. Anyone else experienced the same?

    1. They've had them for weeks! Stamp ordering and checking is usually the responsibility of one person, and that should already have been done.


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