BALTIMORE (WJZ) — O, little town of Bethlehem, Maryland.
Since 1938, people have been traveling to the little hamlet, about eight miles outside Easton in Caroline County, to have their Christmas cards and letters postmarked “Bethlehem” and stamped with the image of three wise men and a star.
“Pretty much means Christmas,” says Lonnie Friend, who lives in the town of less than 200 inhabitants. “The birth of Christ. The three wise men bringing their gifts.”
Beverly Stoffler, of nearby St. Michaels, drives to Bethlehem to mail her cards and then sends out an e-mail to recipients.
“Don’t tear the envelope but make sure you read the cancellation,” she writes.
Main Street Bethlehem has two lanes, and the post office can be found a few feet from a star that hangs in the intersection this time of year.
During the holiday season, the post office stamps up to 3,000 cards a day, some coming from as far away as China and the Netherlands, just for the postmark.
For Christians, it places a special mark and adds a special meaning to every greeting sent out from a Maryland town that shares the name of the birthplace of Jesus.