Cancellation by Cupid

Collage of whimsical postmarks with love and romantic themes

The finishing flourish to many a valentine is an envelope cancelled with PDA — pictorial displays of affection.

This year, the love-themed images include a couple dancing cheek to cheek in Romeo, MI; a child’s line drawing of a puppy in Bliss, NY; deer antlers that form a heart shape in Valentine, TX; and a great big heart from Loveland, CO, also known as “Valentine Station,” where the latest in the Love series of stamps was dedicated during a virtual ceremony.

Of course, most valentine-senders don’t live in Romeo, Bliss, Valentine or Loveland, which is where a special USPS remailing service comes in. Senders place pre-addressed valentines and letters with the appropriate postage (at least First-Class Mail) in larger envelopes addressed to: Pictorial Postmarks, the name of the chosen station and its address, city, state and Zip code. Once there, the station cancels the contents with the special mark and the love notes are sent on their way.

The service is only available for a range of dates, and no letter can include postage issued after the requested date. Such letters will be returned.

More information on the pictorial postmark program for Valentine’s Day, as well as for other pictorial postmarks planned for holidays and events in 2021, is included in Postal Bulletin’s Jan. 28 edition.