Noel (pronounced Nole) is a small town in Missouri making a huge impact worldwide every Christmas season. Despite the attention you might believe the claimed “American Christmas City” would get, it isn’t your typical tourist attraction. Visiting Noel, MO you’ll find there are no theme parks or big flashing lights, you’ll experience a quaint town with gorgeous mountain views and cozy riverside cabins. Besides a little extra holiday decorations around town, and a strong sense of pride from it’s residents, Noel’s main holiday tourist attraction is their post office, and their visitors come by mail.
Traffic By Mail
In the 1930’s the Noel’s postmaster came about a cheerful thought that would quickly drive tens of thousands of Christmas cards through their local post office every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas. What was this turning point thought that had mail flying in from all over the world? A unique “Christmas City” postmark. Mail sent through the Noel, MO post office receives a Christmas themed stamp giving the cards an extra holiday touch! There are three different stamp designs that have been used since this tradition began: red Noel text, a green Christmas tree, and a red wreath.
Discover how to send your Christmas cards to the Noel post office here.
The stamp was catching on slowly, but its popularity spiked when radio and television singer Kate Spade made mention of the Noel, Missouri Post Office specialty during her broadcasts that reached listeners and watchers far and wide. As you can imagine, post office volunteers are in high demand during this time as a raised rate of incoming mail needs more hands to stamp and send the letters out to its receiver. It’s the Christmas spirit of Noel locals and volunteers that make this special holiday tradition possible for many to receive a special postage. Since the “Christmas City” postmark is a free holiday addition, an abundance of cards are sent through. It’s important to note that only personal Christmas cards will be stamped. The great response the post office hears brings great joy to the workers, volunteers, and the community.
Since the beginning of the postmark tradition, the pronunciation of Noel has changed from “Nole” to “Nou’el” during the holiday season making the small town feel that much more like Christmas! Though email cards and messaging has become a popular and easy way of sending holiday wishes the popular Christmas stamping is still going strong. In 2012, the Post Master noted around 85,000 cards had come through.
Truly, it has become a community event and tradition for families everywhere. Local students decorate the post office windows, generations send letters through every year, people in close in proximity and even a little further drive to the post office to mail out their letters. The Christmas City postmarks aren’t just stamps, they bring people together. This has grown into a tradition that means so much to so many.
Bucket List Destination
For fans of all things Christmas, the quaint Missouri town Noel is a definitely an American staple and holiday bucket list destination. Visit the post office and mail a specially stamped letter. Take in the beauty surrounding Noel saturated with fall leaves of the Ozark mountain trees and a waving shoreline of the Elk River. Stay in a spacious but cozy, riverside cabin rental this holiday season and check Noel off your bucket list. This family and friend accommodating retreat is a great alternative to a cramped typical hotel stay. Your Furry Family is also Welcome!