“It starts right after Thanksgiving,” says sales interpreter Karen Barclay from her perch behind the counter. Visitors come through the door, some with one or two, others with a handful, a few with an entire box.
They come to Colonial Williamsburg’s post office on Duke of Gloucester Street to have their holiday cards hand canceled with a reproduction 18th-century Williamsburg stamp. Guests stop by every day to buy stamps and send postcards, but during the holiday season the volume soars. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Barclay reports, the post office will hand cancel one to 2,000 cards a day.
“We have people who have been doing it for years,” she says. Some live locally but many make their pilgrimage from out of town to add that special touch to holiday greetings. “It’s such a little thing but people love it. People go out of here smiling.”
Can’t make it to the post office? Try sending one of Colonial Williamsburg’s free online seasonal postcards.