NOEL, Mo. — Once a year, a city in McDonald County changes its name for a very special postage stamp. It’s the city of Noel—which becomes “Noel” (no-ell) this time of year for the annual Christmas postmark.

The 90-year tradition lives on, as volunteers work in the Post Office lobby from Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve to affix a special stamp on the incoming letters. This year, they expect to stamp more than 40,000. Over the years, cards have come in from states across the nation and countries around the world.

“We love doing it. It is a great tradition. I’m happy to be a part of it and I bet everybody’s family loves getting Christmas cards in the mail. And to have the fact that you went above and beyond and stepped into getting just a stamp put on that for them, they’re going to be excited,” said Patty Loggin, Post office Clerk.

“I think it’s very important for a small town as we are to have something to last that long. There’s, you just don’t see anything you know lasting that long nowadays, you know. We’re kind of a little tiny town and nobody knows anything about us except for our Christmas and I enjoy bringing that smile to their faces when they get these cards with the stamps on them,” said Dot Harner, volunteer.

The United States Postal Service is also proud of the impact of this simple gesture.

“We’re woven into the fabric of the community and we’re super proud to be a part of this and to deliver for Americans. See folks like this just such an awesome thing for us,” said Mark Inglett, USPS Strategic Communication Specialist.

If you would like to get a card stamped at no cost, mail it to the Postmaster in Noel.