It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. (No scratch that…it’s beginning to feel a lot like Téléthon time again but that’s a post for another day!) How do you know Christmas is coming? Besides the decorations, lights and displays going up everywhere, you can add all the toy catalogues in my mailbox. You can still find toy soldiers for sale in them–both of my nephews and several of Laura’s friends are all in the toy knights in shining armor/castle stage! Neither of my brothers were into toy soldiers as a kid, but Anthony still has his collection. These stamps just seem fun to me–nostalgia meets a man’s stamp. The Toy Soldier stamps were released on 2 July 2012 but somehow only showed up on display at our local post office recently. Each of the six stamps is devoted to a different era of French military history from the Roman conquest of Gaul (see Vercingétorix, top right) to WWI. The background features the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris, one of my favorite Parisian landmarks. In addition to Napoleon’s tomb, the Invalides is home to the Musée de l’armée des Invalides and its very nice collection of toy soldiers. Finally, the block is bordered with a mix of cavalry and infantry toy soldiers.
In other news, stamp prices will be increasing here in France on January 1st! Yay! The average stamp price is set to go up by 2.8%. The 20g letter priority rate will be going from 0.60€ to 0.63€, while the “green” rate will go from 0.57€ to 0.58€. If you can afford to stock up on forever stamp booklets, now is your chance! According to La Poste, stamp prices have remained stable for 18 months. I suppose this is their justification for the latest price hike. I wish I could remember when the cost of mailing postcards/letters to the EU and World last increased as that, at least, feels much more recent. I have 2011 World stamps for 0.87€ (current price: 0.89€) and the 2011 Europa stamp was issued at 0.75€ (current: 0.77€). I would like to know how much letters to the EU and Rest-of-the-World will cost but I haven’t been able to track that down yet. Unfortunately for me, December means both Elise’s birthday and Christmas, ie no spare change! Why do I have such an expensive hobby?