Joy postal cancellation available through December
The Joy Post Office, 202 W Main St, Joy, becomes a holiday magnet in December. Joy, Illinois joins the list of holiday sounding post offices like Christmas, Michigan, Noel, Missouri or Rudolph, Ohio. Many of these post offices offer special holiday cancellations, according to Joy Postmaster Paula Rath.
This year's competition for the Joy Holiday postal cancellation had very few entries, but the quality was great. This year's winner is Eileen Wiley from Eliza, who created a season's greetings cancellation of a tasteful wintry scene, with a hint of the holidays.
Rath said there were only three entries and even though area schools were invited to make submissions, there were no student entries.
Last year there were 22 entries. Rath says usually the post office receives more than 12,000 pieces of mail for the special holiday cancellation.
For 24 years a special postal cancellation has been created for the holidays in Joy. The special cancellations started in 1985.
In 2007 there were requests for cancellations from 38 states and eight foreign countries, according to Rath.
Eileen Wiley of rural Eliza submitted this year's winning postal cancellation. She was excited to learn about the competition after reading about it in The Times Record. She made several potential drawings after stopping at the Joy Post Office to find out what items had to definitely be in the cancellation, such as December and a place for the date.
She chose the date Dec. 22 as the date showing for her sample for good luck. "It's my sister's birthday."
She also polled her six children for their favorites among those she came up with.
Wiley says her house is filled with her artwork. She works in many mediums including oil, acrylic and watercolor. "Right now my favorite is watercolor," she said.
"I was a member of Artist in Action," she said. That organization ran a store in Muscatine that displayed and sold area artists' works up through the 1990s. "I was on the Board of Directors."
Any artwork sold there had to first go through a jury process before being accepted. She also used to enter things in the Mercer County Fair. "I quit after I won most everything," she said. That was back in 1996 when she won Best of Show. In 1995 she won People's Choice.
She said she once painted the New Boston - Eliza Fire Department with all the firefighters out front. "They were cartoonish, but you could recognize everyone."
Anyone wishing to have holiday mail cancelled with the Joy cancellation can bring or send pre-stamped letters and cards to the Joy Post Office during regular hours anytime between Dec. 1 and Dec. 31. Mail letters to be cancelled to:
PO BOX 9998
Joy, IL 61260-9998
Office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 7:30 to 10 a.m.