2010 44¢ Blue Spruce
Issue Date: October 21, 2010
City: New York, NY
Printed By: Banknote Corporation of America
Printing Method: Offset, Microprint "USPS"
Prized for good form, pleasing scent, and dense foliage, blue spruce trees are the official state trees of Colorado and Utah. The evergreen is also a popular choice for Christmas trees in the eastern United States and Europe.
Native to western North America, blue spruce trees grow slowly and may live 600 to 800 years. Blue spruce trees feature light blue or gray needles, which complement the traditional Christmas colors of green, red, white, blue, silver, and gold.
Each of the holiday colors can be traced to ancient religious beliefs. Green is said to represent everlasting life. Red symbolizes the bloodline of Jesus Christ. White signifies the purity of the Virgin Birth, with blue representing the sky from which the angels appeared. For believers, silver and gold is a reminder of the richness of God’s blessings.
These traditions hold special meaning for the people of Russia. Celebrations of Christmas were banned in 1917, when the Bolsheviks took power, and remained in effect under the oppressive communist government. Christmas returned to Russia since the 1992 fall of communism, and was quickly embraced by its people. Members of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrate Christmas on January 7th of each year.