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Christmas stamp mystery at Bethlehem Post Office

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Dec 19 2012 05:01:24 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 20 2012 04:53:48 AM CST

Bethlehem stamps

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

It's a Christmas mystery.

Why is the Post Office in Bethlehem no longer stamping the mail with the "Christmas City Station" emblem?

For some people it's a tradition to get "Christmas City Station" on their Christmas envelopes.

Now some are just wondering why the change.

Some customers at the post office on Wood Street in Bethlehem were shocked when they found out.

"They said I can't get it," said one man.

Others didn't know what the sign saying "No hand stamps" meant at first.

"Subsequently it was described to me," said Chris Merrigan, a customer mailing a gift. "It's a shame that a decision was made to stop hand stamping."

The post office is no longer stamping any letters with the little circle stamp that reads Christmas City station.

"It was actually this week when I started getting emails," said Lynn Collins-Cunningham, vice president, Bethlehem office, of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce. "I got a phone call, I got a message from the mayor's office asking if I knew anything about it."

The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce says it borrows the stamp each year for its mailings.

This year, the post office told them there was no rush to return it.

The chamber doesn't know why and the post office isn't returning their call.

"I was very disappointed, especially because this is the 75th year of Bethlehem being designated as the Christmas City," added Collins-Cunningham.

It's still the Christmas City that everyone living here knows about, but people waiting for that special card won't see the traditional circle.

"It was nice thing they had, but what are you going to do," said one customer.

"A tradition is a nice thing to keep if you can at all," added Merrigan. "Maybe there was a reason that they made that decision and I just don't know that reason."

69 News placed a call to the postmaster at the Bethlehem location and so far those calls have not been returned.