My fiancé did it again!
This is the very first Christmas stamp ever issued!
For almost sixty years no one in the world thought to issue a Christmas stamp until December 7, 1898, when Canada issued what is known by philatelists (stamp collectors) as the"Map Stamp". Designed by William Mulock, the Postmaster General of Canada, the stamp shows the earth as if it were flat. The countries that were dependencies of Great Britain were printed in red. 20,000,000 stamps were issued; half with blue oceans and the other half with a green ocean look. Why, is not known. Along the bottom of the stamp was the slogan,"WE HOLD A VASTER EMPIRE THAN HAS BEEN". At that time Britain held the largest empire on earth.
The only clue that this is a Christmas stamp is the word XMAS1898 near the bottom centre of the stamp. No Santa, reindeer, or wreathes.