In 1904 a Danish postal clerk came up with the idea of a charitable stamp that could be used on mailed Christmas greetings in order to raise money to fight tuberculosis. His idea was approved by the King of Denmark, and over the first six years enough money was raised through the sale of these Christmas seals to build a sanatorium in Kolding.
In 1910 the face of the Danish Christmas seal was my Grandfather, Edward Møller, or Happy as we called him. Growing up I was so very proud of my Grandfather’s brush with fame, and to this day I still love the story of how he ended up as the face of the Danish Christmas in 1910!
Just after my Grandfather passed away my parents gave both of my brothers and myself a beautiful framed picture of Happy as a child with 4 original stamps. On the back is a translation of a Copenhagen newspaper article from December 1910. Most definitely one of my most treasured possessions!
One may ask on certain occasions, “What shall we call the child?”. At other less solemn but more painful instances the question is, “Who is the Father of the child?”. In this case where there is absolutely nothing painful about it, and not so much solemnity that it would matter, we merely ask. “Who is the child?”.
The child is, first of all, the Christmas Stamp Child, the child whose handsome head shines from all the Christmas Stamps which are now being spread over the country to collect money for the small sick children. Secondly this child is the son of Engineer Møller. Of course the sequence is really the opposite – the boy was the son of Engineer Møller before he became the Christmas Child – but that is really immaterial.
How did it happen that he became the Christmas Child? Quite straightforward. When the committee wanted a child’s picture, one of the members, Emil Vett (founder of Magasin du Nord) went up to Miss Julie Laurberg, who has a studio in the same building, and looked through her collection. As Mr Vett thought it was the most handsome picture he had ever seen he naturally chose it. So now it has been reproduced in 6 million copies and that is surely a record, which even Poul Reumert will have difficulty in beating.
It is a few years since the photo was taken and at that time I am sure that neither the boy or his parents would have dreamt about the fame which he would later obtain. Thus the boy is now quite a big boy who is at school and even if he is not quite so handsome now, as he was at that time, his parents will nevertheless – judging from all the Christmas Stamps of him get much pleasure out of him. – Translation of a Copenhagen Newspaper Article dated December 14 1910
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas. I will be knee deep in Roast Duck and all the trimmings…