Small Towns Fear Losing Holiday Postmarks

By RICK CALLAHAN | December 8, 2011 | 4:35 PM EST

This Dec. 6, 2011, photo shows the postmark cachet depicting the three wise men following the Star of Bethlehem on a letter stamped at the Bethlehem, Ind., post office. For decades, the post office in this little town of Bethlehem has been Christmas destination for thousands of cards and letters from around the world, each seeking a red-inked imprint depicting the three wise men following a star. The stamps could soon be a Christmas memory. Bethlehem, Snow, Okla., and Antler, N.D., are among about a half-dozen locations with Christmas-themed names that are going away, part of a shutdown of 3,700 post offices nationwide. (AP Photo/Rick Callahan)

BETHLEHEM, Ind. (AP) — Tiny post offices that come to life each year as people seek special holiday postmarks could soon find the tradition a ghost of Christmas past if the U.S. Postal Service proceeds with plans to close thousands of facilities.

More than half a dozen post offices in places like Bethlehem, Ind., and Snow, Okla., are on a list of about 3,700 post offices targeted for closure as the postal service seeks ways to save money.

Mike King of Scottsburg, Ind., says his family would be crestfallen if a 20-year tradition of Bethlehem, Ind.'s special stamp featuring the three wise men following the star of Bethlehem ends.

Even if the closings happen, holiday mailers can still get special postmarks from places like North Pole, N.Y., and Santa Claus, Ind.