Noel, Missouri: America's Christmas Town

NOEL, Mo. -- The town of Noel, Missouri has a population of just under 2,000 people, but during Christmas time, it gets correspondences from all over the world.

The town's post office began a tradition in the 1930's, stamping people's Christmas mail with the town's signature series of stamps.  

Russel Morse is a volunteer with the Noel Post Office, who helps keep up with demand for the special Christmas stamps, and has been doing so for 36 years. 

"I started in 1981," Morse said. "It's the same ones. The trees, the wreath and the little Noel."

Volunteers like Morse will spend the next month adding a bit of Christmas flair to letters from all around the world, each new location gaining a special pin on the post office's world map, which already represents places as far as China. 

Dot Harner is the Noel stamp coordinator and said the importance of the stamps is derived from their personal meaning in a world otherwise becoming more void of personal touches. 

"Everybody is going so commercialized and you know doing the e-mail and all this and they forget about sending a card to their loved ones," Harner said. 

The cards come through Noel, are stamped, and, then, are sent on to a loved one across town or across the world, in a gesture symbolizing so much of what is meaningful about the holiday season.

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