STAR — “I’m just a doodler,” Beth Harris said of winning the Star Post Office Christmas cancellation artwork for 2023.
Her drawing, which could be named “Merry & Bright,” depicts Christmas tree ornaments and stars bordered by Star, NC 27356 and Star Station Dec ___, 2023.
Harris entered the contest for the first time this year, even though her mother, Sherry Caudill, had been encouraging her for several years to send something in. This time Harris said, “Maybe, just maybe, I’m going to enter this year.”
She came up with the art after “thinking about the holidays and all the lights, the ‘merry and bright’ decorating the Christmas tree.” Harris said her mother and family “loved it.”
Still, she had no idea her creation would be the winner. “I was very shocked but I’m very excited. It’s nice to win.”
It was especially rewarding since Harris grew up in Star and now lives there. She had been on the East Montgomery High School yearbook staff and enjoyed designing pages. Harris even considered journalism while a student at UNC-Chapel Hill but eventually turned to dental hygiene. She’s been working as a hygienist for 25 years, currently in the office of Dr. David Malin in Asheboro.
“It’s tedious working with my hands,” she said. For her, sitting down and doing art is a “stress reliever. I may try (the Star competition) again next year.” Harris said she also does water colors just to “see what I come up with.”
Star Postmaster Kirk Kern said the annual contest normally has two or three dozen entries but one year 60 artists entered. Once the winner is chosen, it’s used as the cancellation on letters and cards during the month of December.
“We did over 30,000 cancellations last year,” Kern said. “That’s a lot of stamping by hand.”
The Star government website, https://starnc.gov/services/postoffice, has this to say about the contest: “Star shares official U.S. Postal Service designation as a Christmas Town honors with about a dozen other U.S. cities, but Star is the only one with a different cancellation every year, creating a high demand among collectors. Artists compete to have their drawing selected as the winning design each year, with the submission deadline typically being in late September.”
The Star cancellation will be available at the Star Post Office, 202 S. Main St., Star, from Dec. 1-31.